Since October 2013, LittleBigHelp has been supporting the Centre for Special Education – a school for 119 children and adolescents with special needs who would otherwise not be able to attend school or receive care.
The Centre also provides a home for 15 of the older students of the school and currently 22 local team members are working on the project. The students come from impoverished tribal villages around Bankura, which is a town situated a few hours outside of Kolkata.
Many of these children suffer from neglect, malnutrition, the prevalence of tribal superstition, ignorance and lack of awareness among the families and community members about special needs and the rights of children with special needs and challenges. Consequently they are marginalized and excluded from their community.
The Centre works to provide ‘comprehensive rehabilitation programmes’ for these children to improve their quality of life and accelerate the process of mainstreaming them into the society.
The Centre therefore also offers vocational training and life skills education so that the students are given the right to choose what they want to do, based on their strengths and needs.
They have unique differences and abilities and they have the right to the same educational, health, nutrition, protection and care opportunities. Some may require special support services, assisting devices or job modifications but these are essential investments compared to a lifetime of productivity and contribution.
We strongly feel that the children with special needs have the need and right to decent work and to enjoy freedom, equity, social security and human dignity – just like any other child should.