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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Pune NGO working for children with special needs takes its initiative to Gadchiroli, Goa

Ekansh, founded by Anita Iyer, has been conducting awareness programs in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad wherein Anganwadi workers were trained to detect early signs of disabilities in children and encourage parents to seek medical intervention.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
Updated: June 16, 2021 10:13:41 am
DyslexiaWhen the lockdown started, Iyer said she approached authorities in Kolhapur, Satara and Goa to conduct an awareness program through a virtual platform. (Representational)

For the last 12 years, Anita Iyer — founder, sponsor and managing trustee of Ekansh Trust – has been conducting outreach programmes for early detection and intervention for children with special needs. During the pandemic-related lockdown, the Ekansh Trust took its programmes to other parts of the state, as well as Goa, via online platforms.

Early detection of children with special needs is crucial for medical intervention to reach on time, said Iyer. She has been conducting awareness programmes in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad for the last 12 years, during which anganwadi workers are trained to detect early signs and encourage parents to seek medical intervention. Such intervention is necessary for issuance of the disability certificate, which allows persons with special needs to avail of various government schemes.

Iyer said many a times even medical personnel are not aware of the whole list of 21 disabilities which has been recognised by the government for issuance of the certificates.

When the lockdown started last year, Iyer said she approached authorities in Kolhapur, Satara and Goa to conduct the same awareness programme over Zoom. This initiative allowed Iyer to reach out to people and places which were far from her base in Pune.

Now, Ekansh Trust has also taken its initiative to Gadchiroli district. The move came after Abhinav Bahudeshiya Kala Manch, a community-based organisation in Gadchiroli, approached the Trust to work in their area.

“The challenges were many during working in such a remote area… Naxalism is also prevalent there. We trained project executives of the Manch, who conducted the surveys and helped in raising awareness about the early signs and detection of children with special needs. This would be the first time such an awareness camp was held in this remote district,” said Iyer.

Soon, the collaboration also led to the beginning of a special initiative for senior citizens and all those who suffered from movement disability to access the Covid vaccination drive. Under this scheme, a free autorickshaw was made available for them to go to the vaccination centres.

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