The birth of a child with a disability, or the discovery that a child has a disability, can have profound effects on a family – especially when there is no support available. At 9 years old, cheerful and enthusiastic Ishan was independent in daily routine activities and eager to learn new skills, but in his district of Sitapur there were no intervention or education programs to accommodate his low vision and intellectual disability.
Ishan’s father is a daily wage earner and his mother, a homemaker. They always hoped that one day Ishan would go to school like his siblings and learn alongside his peers. But they were completely unaware of how they could help Ishan.
Perkins India’s work with local partner Jayati Bharatam has brought awareness about children with multiple disabilities and vision impairment — and the importance of education for these children — to Sitapur and other communities throughout Uttar Pradesh. The project team raises awareness in communities in a variety of ways; meetings with government officials, distribution of awareness materials, building relationships with local ASHA and Anganwadi workers, and connecting directly with village leaders and individual families like Ishan’s.
A local Angandwadi worker, Smt. Bhagyawati, upon learning more about multiple disabilities through the project, referred the project team to Ishan’s family.
After meeting Ishan and assessing his needs, the project team supported the family to procure important documentation, a disability certificate, and also secured his admission in the village school – a dream come true for the family! The project team is further supporting Ishan to learn skills through regular visits at home that will help him to participate meaningfully once the school reopens and he begins attending school alongside his peers.
The Aanganwadi worker, Smt.Bhagyawati shared, “I was aware that there is a child with a disability in our village, but I was not aware that these children can be educated. I am so happy that I referred Ishan when the team members were doing door to door screening. Through them the family has received great support as the child is enrolled in the regular school. The team is also helping Ishan to learn at home till school reopens.”
Ishan’s mother says “We are so happy and thankful to the project team and Jayati Bharatam as they guided us from day one when they identified Ishan. They helped us in obtaining the Income certificate, Caste Certificate, Aadhar Card (identity card) and disability Certificate of Ishan. This has helped Ishan to secure admission in the regular school. I am also happy my child is learning at home with the support of the IDI team and they have assured me that they will support Ishan to adjust in the regular school.”