[AI] Fw: (Keralavision) Choornikkara holds hands with the differently abled

RENUKA WARRIER erenuka at gmail.com
Sun Jul 18 07:06:28 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Timy Sebastian Ettumanoor 
To: keralavision at googlegroups.com 
Sent: Sunday, July 18, 2010 11:10 AM
Subject: (Keralavision) Choornikkara holds hands with the differently abled

the hindu news.

K.A. Martin 

The panchayat shows that there is more to development than achieving material targets  

Photo: H.Vibhu 
Community development: Students at Buds School at Choornikkara panchayat in Ernakulam district. 

CHOORNIKKARA (KOCHI): Developmental challenges do not end with issues of higher productivity in the farm sector or creation of a better asset base. Choornikkara panchayat in Ernakulam district learnt this simple lesson when it decided to take a hard look at the needs of the differently abled children in the panchayat with the help of the Kudumbasree Mission.

The problem was identified by the Community Development Society (CDS) under the Kudumbasree Mission. Haseena Salim, president of the CDS, says the first step, more than a year ago, was to do a survey of the extent of the problem in the panchayat.

The survey was an eye-opener. It showed that scores of children needed special care as their parents were from extremely poor economic circumstances as they worked in marginal sectors.

The CDS and the panchayat found that it was difficult for these parents to pay proper attention to their children facing emotional and physical challenges. The panchayat authorities decided to take the plunge and, despite having no facility to provide centralised care for the children, launched a project to support them. It identified a temporary location to house the children during the day time and began work on a permanent facility that could function as a second home for the children.

The panchayat invested Rs.15 lakh in building a new place to house the Buds School. It became the first school for the differently abled children in the district to get government approval.

The panchayat went a step further and bought a bus paying Rs. 6.5 lakh to ferry the children to the school and back. There are 21 children at the Buds School now, all well dressed and well-looked after. They get their meals and dress from the Buds School besides scholarships as incentives, says panchayat president K.A. Aliyar.

The 'students' at the school, aged between eight and 40, are taking their afternoon rest when we arrive. A little coaxing from Ambika C.K. and T.M. Rasheeda, helpers at the school, see the children up and about in a little while. One of them pulled two chairs for us and shook hands as he motioned us to sit.

It takes a visitor a while to make out what burdens these children. They appear to have suddenly shed their yokes, engaged in playing games and using building blocks sitting on a plastic mat spread over an impeccably clean floor. The panchayat is planning to install more training equipment to equip them physically and mentally to face life's challenges, says Mr. Aliyar.

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© 2010, The Hindu

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