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MSU social work students out to help dyslexic slum children

When the film Taare Zameen Par hit the theatres a year ago, city-based NGOs and various other institutions across Gujarat were quick to begin intervention programmes to help families and teachers of children who were mentally challenged and had learning disabilities.

Written by Shubhalakshmishukla | Vadodara |
October 4, 2008 4:09:34 am

To initiate a survey on children who have behavioural, emotional, scholastic and learning disabilities in two slum areas of the city

When the film Taare Zameen Par hit the theatres a year ago, city-based NGOs and various other institutions across Gujarat were quick to begin intervention programmes to help families and teachers of children who were mentally challenged and had learning disabilities.

But seemingly, this sensitisation drive just lasted for a

few months. It is now that

M S University (MSU) Faculty

of Social Work (FSW) Child Guidance Clinic, in association with city-based NGO United Way of Baroda (UWB), is working towards community-based intervention in two slum areas of the city.

“Child Guidance Clinic has been providing in-house counseling to slum children for the last 32 years. However, there is a lack of awareness about such services being offered in these areas. Generally, parents visit us in the clinic only when their children, who have disabilities, are in a bad shape,” said Dhramishtha Nanavati, counselor at the Child Guidance Clinic.

She added: “Thus, FSW students are in the process of initiating a survey on children who have behavioural, emotional, scholastic and learning disabilities in the slum areas of Kalyan Nagar and

Pensionpura.”

The UWB has sanctioned

Rs 70,000 to the clinic for one year to carry out a survey in the slum areas.

The FSW students, as a part of their assignments, will interact with anganwadi workers, public as well as private schools and other institutions and individuals who are in direct touch with the slum children, said Nanavati.

“Our idea is to continue the community intervention programme for five years as the counseling of the child and his/her family is a long drawn process,” she said.

Prof Arun Khasgiwala, FSW dean, said: “Such an activity needs to be carried out in the slum areas in order to make the slum population aware about the services provided by FSW.”

The checklist for the survey has already been prepared and the students have started contacting anganwadi workers, said Nanavati.

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