Inclusive and community based
From small humble beginnings in 1990 when abandoned disabled children were taken to safety and cared for, Kiran Society has developed into a comprehensive educational, training and rehabilitation centre.
The large compound houses a school with many classroom blocks, a deaf unit, vocational and rehabilitation therapy training unit, a clinic, rehabilitation workshop and physiotherapy facilities, kitchen and dining room, supported living accommodation for multiply disabled children, gardens, playground and rice fields and vegetable plots. Each day the school's buses pick up disabled children from the city and surrounding villages to attend Kiran primary and lower secondary school which follows India's national curriculum. Just more than half the children are ‘differently-abled’ which means that nondisabled children learn side by side with disabled children. Kiran firmly believes in involving parents, who are invited to attend training courses to help their children to develop as all-round healthy adults.
Kiran’s philosophy is 'no child shall be deprived of rehabilitation facilities just because the family cannot afford it'. The rehabilitation department is staffed with orthotic technicians, physiotherapists and rehabilitation therapists and they assess children, make and fit callipers and other mobility aids and provide follow up - all at a fraction of the cost of a commercial producer. Mothers (and a few fathers) of children with cerebral palsy or other neurological conditions are given a one week residential training course to help them provide continuous therapy at home, which is a lifetime need for the children. A new training centre recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India is providing courses for much-needed rehabilitation therapists and special educators for this area.
DDP’s project partnership with Kiran Society began in 2009 with two outreach programmes to villages to identify, assess and follow up children with disabilities with appropriate medical, rehabilitation or therapeutic interventions. In 2014, we started a major community based programme ‘Health Awareness and Livelihoods’ in 50 villages in Varanasi and Mirzapur districts.
Main photo: The HAL team with Sangeeta JK, Director, Kiran Society (second right) and Ranjeet Singh, Head of Projects (far right)