“I can learn and I too want to learn and enjoy my schooling with friends” says Dhruv, an 8 year old boy who lives in Ahmedabad with his mother, father and younger sister. Dhruv has cerebral Palsy, low vision and intellectual impairment.
Dhruv’s father works as a lift operator in a private building. It has always been a struggle for the family to cover Dhruv’s medical and educational fees and to make ends meet. The sudden national lockdown was like a nightmare for the family. At one point there was almost no money for meals.
Luckily for the family, Blind People’s Association (BPA) started relief work from the first day of the lockdown and supplied grocery kits to families like Dhruv’s. Support from Perkins India enabled BPA to sustain support for three months to 100 such families. It was a big relief for Dhruv’s family. Not only could they survive with the grocery kits but they could also pay for Dhruv’s medicine for epilepsy.
The next challenge was finding a way to continue Dhruv’s education and therapy. Forced to stay at home with school closures during the pandemic, Dhruv was growing bored and restless. His family struggled to engage him in meaningful activities during the day. The team of educators at BPA came to the rescue by holding online learning sessions for Dhruv. The family did not have a smartphone to access the sessions, but they managed to convince an uncle to lend his phone so that the dedicated team of teachers and therapists could work with Dhruv in the evening with the support of his father.
The partnership between Perkins India and BPA during the COVID 19 pandemic has helped so many families like Dhruv’s during these challenging times. For Dhruv’s family It has changed the course of their lives from mere survival to being able to promote and encourage education. His parents are so motivated to support him to achieve his goals. And Dhruv is so happy to be learning again!