Until the beginning of 2011 Isai Ma(i)yam received a group of handicapped children for day care a few days a week. Because the organization (who had taken them on) had sold the school they were going to, the children didn’t come any more. Therefore, we dedicated ourselves to founding our own shelter for the disabled in Koot Road: Ananda Day Care. There seem to be many more handicapped children who stay at home under terrible circumstances and hardly come outside. We have searched for these children in the villages. Now we offer good day care to fourteen handicapped children and youngsters five days a week.
Our building is located in Koot Road, a village near Alankupam
We have made special modifications to the building to be able to receive these children. So we made a wheelchair ramp and there is a resting room. One of our volunteers made a beach painting on the walls of the resting room. A hammock is hanging between two palm trees which were drawn.
Former ‘shelter child’ teaches
Punitha, a young woman who stayed with us as a child and has now finished the Music College, was an intern and worked with handicapped children in Pondicherry during her education. Together with teaching at our Art School, she would love to teach music to our new group of handicapped children. We are very happy about this and the children too. They really thrive since they came here. They also love the drive by car to us! In the morning they play music with us. In the afternoon we offer several activities, like claying, drawing and weaving. We also teach Tamil – and for the children who are up to it, English lessons.
The young adults Sri-Devi and John Bosco (once given shelter by Isai Ma(i)yam) will be assisting Punitha with the shelter and lessons, also assisted by two Indian volunteers who have a lot of experience with handicapped children and the Dutch students who are doing their internship with us.
Massage and physiotherapy
Near our school for the handicapped is a community hospital that is willing to give these children massage and physiotherapy for 25 rupees per person per month (only 40 eurocents!). With pleasure some handicapped children have already been using this facility for five months.