Social Development and Education Trust
Tamil Nadu, South India
SDET work in Srivilliputhur town, Virudhunagar district and are providing educational opportunities for children from 33 villages in the area and special care for children with learning disabilities. They have been a tireless advocate with government agencies to fulfil the principles of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (The Government of India’s commitment to education for all) and to create awareness among disabled people to get their rights such as Disability Certificates which provide entitlement to statutory welfare benefits. One of SDET’s main goals is to eradicate child labour in the region by creating awareness and supporting families to end the use of children as labour.
Among the children from tribal communities in SDET’s programmes there are more than 150 aged 10 and under who have lost one or both parents, of whom, 58 children have learning disabilities.
SDET has been steadily improving its facilities by constructing a Special Education Resource Centre to house classrooms, residential facilities for children with intellectual disabilities, parents’ meeting rooms and health facilities. DDP's first practical partnership with SDET has involved re-equipping and sustaining their IT vocational training centre, which aims to open the door to modern 'high tech' employment for disadvantaged and disabled young people from tribal and very poor families.
The Parents’ Committees are a model of participation where, in a monthly forum of consultation with SDET staff, they discuss needs and priorities that affect them and their children and ensure that action is taken.
Main photo: IT trainees, mostly young women and disabled youth, at SDET's Vocational Computer Training Centre gaining skills that provide a real chance for jobs