Bangalore 18th January ’2016 –Sense India and The Leela Palace Hotels & Resorts put together an inspiring evening showcasing the immense potential of children with deafblindness through inclusive education. The highlight of the evening was the Premiere of “Hum bhi School Chaley” – a short film on inclusive education. This was aimed at raising awareness about deafblindness in the Indian sub-continent and introduce Sense India and its various programs that are empowering people with deafblindness.
The evening was well attended by dignitaries which included change makers from the Corporate Sector, Supporters and Trustees of Sense India and Sense International. On this occasion, Akhil S Paul, Director, Sense India said, “ Education should train the child to use his brains, to make for himself a place in the world and maintain his rights even when it seems that society would push him to scrap”.
What does Sense India do –
Deafblindness is a unique and complex disability. Sense India is the only nation-wide agencyproviding specialised services for deafblindchildren and adults to overcome the challengescaused by deafblindness. At present there are very fewcentres for children with deafblindness in India.
At Sense India, through corporate support, weestablish a special unit where deafblind children canlearn communication and daily-living skills, andreceive basic education and home based services in far flung areas. We establish vocational trainingcentres where deafblind young adults are trained onvarious skills. We also train teachers who areinvolved in the government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), programme, which aims to provide ‘inclusiveeducation’ concentrating on children withdeafblindness and multi-sensory impairments.
Deafblindness –a uniquedisability,causing extremechallenges
95% of what we learn is through our eyes and ears. Imagine what it is like to be deafblind person.Deafblindness combines varying degrees of bothhearing and visual impairment. All individuals who aredeafblind experience extreme challenges withcommunication and mobility; as well most have additional physical and medical conditions. Personswith deafblindness face neglect and discriminationowning to their inability to communicate andrelate to the world. They are thus denied the basichuman rights of education, medical care, amongstother needs that are taken for granted by most of us.
Sense India works nation-wide; andhas started to provide assistance inSouth-Asia.
It is estimated that there are about 500,000deafblind persons in India. Sense InternationalIndia, also known as Sense India, was established in1997. At that time 23 deafblind children received support, in Mumbai. Our USP: We are the first non-governmental organisation to support thedevelopment of comprehensive services fordeafblind people throughout India. Sense Indiaworks with local organisations to develop sustainable services for deafblind children and adults, and collaborates with the government atcentre and state levels.
Our Head office is in Ahmedabad, but we have anoffice in New Delhi, Bangalore and staff based out ofPune and Chennai. We now enable 71,000+deafblind, mostly children to receive services. Weprovide direct high quality education and other services for around 13,000 deafblind children through 57 partner NGOs in 23 states; as well weorganise skills training and livelihood support to a few deafblind adults. We also provide training forfamilies to understand and integrate with theirdeafblind members; and we promote training ofprofessionals to provide quality support. Through
collaboration with the government’s national ‘inclusive education’ programme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) about 58,500 children with deafblindness and multi-sensory impairments are identified and prepared to attendmainstream schools.
We advocate for the rights of deafblind peoplewith the government. Inclusion of deafblindness in the ‘Rights of persons with Disability Bill 2011′, andinclusion of Rubella1 vaccination in the national immunisation programme are two off the mostimportant recent successes of our advocacy. Weare a member of several Central Government andState level advisory groups.
Sense India is beginning to work outside India. Wehave initiated our model in Bangladesh and have trained professionals in Malaysia and Nepal.