They say talent is found hidden in the most unexpected places, just waiting to be tapped for the genius to be unravelled.  Snehalaya, located in an inner part of Wagholi, Pune is the silver lining for such talent. A rehab centre for children affected by cerebral palsy, the campus is an abode of serenity.

In layman’s language cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that occurs when the child’s brain is still developing, i.e., before birth, during birth or right after birth. It has drastic effects on the child’s development. The entire staff of Snehalaya is dedicated to empowering these children and making them independent enough to face the world boldly. 

Snehalaya- Home of Love

What is Special about a Special School?

You must be wondering why are we talking about this school. Firstly, there is a lack of awareness in the field of special education. When it comes to making place in mainstream schools for children with any form of disability, the situation becomes a frenzy. Rejection, often on the grounds of ‘no provision for special needs’ has become a common affair. As a result, many children, although intelligent and having a thirst for learning, don’t get a chance to prove their potential. Sadly, they are left with no option but to stay back at home. The parents remain helpless and clueless, not knowing what to do next.

Inclusive education in India is still developing at a slow pace. On the bright side, there are NGOs such as this and some private institutions that have taken up this concern quite seriously. They are striving towards creating a wonderful learning atmosphere where these children are able to reach their full capability.

What We Learnt at Snehalaya

Team Blogchatter made a visit to Snehalaya recently. Bright faces and radiant smiles welcomed us, much to our pleasant surprise. The staff were very happy to take us on a tour of the centre through which we understood their special education program. After admission, the child undergoes a diagnostic evaluation. Then trained professionals decide therapy, pre-vocational training, or an education program, according to their needs. All the children learn trades that generate income. This in turn helps them enhance their cognitive abilities, communication skills, emotional interactions and ultimately vocational skills.

Jewelry making, crafts, computer training are some of the many things taught at Snehalaya. We captured them while they were busy at it.

Candle making is an activity all enjoy at Snehalaya. The scented candles with a touch of satin ribbon make perfect gifts.

Look at the items for sale, perfumes, scented candles, jewelry, pickles, clarified butter – all made by kids of Snehalaya! The money earned from this goes into their savings and equips them for a secure future.

Empower Special Children

Snehalaya believes in not only caring, but also preparing children to stand on their own feet once they grow up. They do this by giving them equal opportunities and accessibility to shine. But what more can we do to help such children? There are very few schools such as this and NGOs are struggling to bring this to light. Moreover, a large part of the world is naive or unconcerned when it comes to special needs. The myths around them must be clarified and the seriousness must be magnified.

As bloggers, we have powerful voices and great platforms to create some chatter around this. Social media is our tool. Probably, we can also go the extra step and share our skills with them.

If you are in Pune, and wish to visit Snehalaya, celebrate special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries with the children, it could make their day and yours more beautiful. If you want to sponsor a child or perhaps make a small donation, here are the details:

Contact: +919822580248 / 9545862662, Email: [email protected] A/c No.: 0780053000000455 , Name: Snehalaya Education Society , Name of the Bank: South Indian Bank, Name of the Branch: Wagholi, ISFC Code: SIBL0000780

Smiling children of Snehalaya were eager to pose for a picture

We can be a shining lamp in each of these children’s hands, if we choose to.