Anganwadi workers provide vital services to children between the age group of 0-6 years in India. Through Anganwadi centers stationed in villages, these frontline workers provide basic education and health care to families of young children. Unfortunately, children with multiple disabilities and vision impairment are many a time excluded from these services due to limited awareness and a lack of knowledge of how to include them.
As part of an on-going effort to increase community participation of children with multiple disabilities and vision impairment, Perkins India conducted two trainings for local Anganwadi workers in the Ailiya and Laharpur blocks of Sitapur district. The trainings, conducted in partnership with Jayati Bharatam, provided awareness about children with complex disabilities, as well as teaching strategies to help support these children.
The aim of these training sessions was to orient Anganwadi workers to the needs of children with multiple disabilities and introduce basic interventions that encourage children to learn. The training provided an opportunity for Anganwadi workers to observe and interact with a handful of children with multiple disabilities. Perkins India experts demonstrated specific strategies that the Anganwadi workers could use with children from their village. For example, using hand-over-hand assistance, hand-under-hand support, or providing support at the wrist to help the child participate in learning activities.
The Child Development Program Officer of Ailiya block, responsible for implementation across the block, said, “The training was conducted so well and Perkins India shared such important information in a simple way. Both the trainers were excellent and we learned so much. Seeing the children with multiple disabilities and vision impairment also helped us understand the unique needs and strengths of each child. We are really eager that we should receive some more training like this.”
We are really eager that we should receive some more training like this.Child Development Program Officer, Ailiya block
At the heart of the trainings were the children with multiple disabilities – like Rehan, Vivek, and Sachin – who were happy to interact with the Anganwadi workers and enjoyed different activities like joining shapes and number puzzles.
Anganwadi worker Ms. Prabha Devi said, “It was such a lovely experience interacting with these children. This training was an eye opener for me, as I never thought that these children can do so much if they get proper intervention and training.”
This training was an eye opener for me, as I never thought that these children can do so much if they get proper intervention and training.Ms. Prabha Devi, Anganwadi worker
At the conclusion of the training the Anganwadi workers left with strategies to include children with multiple disabilities and vision impairment in their Anganwadi centres along with other children from the village.