Satya Special School

Focus: Disability, Education, Health, Livelihoods

CHILDREN with intellectual disabilities are often treated as a burden - especially those born in poor families - and most remain illiterate. Satya Special School try to secure better futures for such children.

Seeing a mentally challenged 13-year-old tied and locked in a room for eight hours every day while her mother, a labourer, went to work, triggered the birth of Satya Special School. With determination to ‘reach the unreached’, the non-profit was founded in 2003.

To alter the continuum of neglect faced by the intellectually disabled, and the unfortunate social stigma that goes with it, Satya strive to make social inclusion a reality through their education, training and individual rehabilitation programmes.

Take, Natheshwari, for example, who was born with cerebral palsy and was brought to Satya in 2010. Noticing the 12-year-old’s zeal to be independent and her interest in craft, she was soon shifted to their vocational training centre where she pursued paper quilling. Though initially she found it difficult to work with her hands, with support and training she mastered the craft and now, aged 16 years, is on the path of turning a passion into her livelihood.

At present, Satya have more than 790 children with special needs under their wing. They function in four urban and three rural centres and also have a newborn high-risk clinic - one of its kind in South India - which has identified more than 500 children born with a risk of developmental delay. Plus, their mobile therapy unit covers 44 villages in Puducherry, providing home-based care for 124 differently-abled children. All Satya's services are free as 75% of beneficiaries belong to families below the poverty line.

Amudha from Puducherry had lost all hope after doctors gave up on her severely disabled daughter and told her that she would not be able to lead a normal life - till she found Satya. Now, with their care, 10-year-old Ananya is able to walk with support and also tries to say a few words.

“Satya are a real boon to families of children with special needs. The dedication and commitment of the staff have ensured that children like my daughter are not forgotten or wished away. Satya have changed our lives and actually given hope to these forgotten children,” says Amudha.

Support Satya on their mission to change the current fragmented rehabilitation system for intellectually disabled children into an integrated, holistic one - and create a socially inclusive society.

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Early intervention centre

AS the only early intervention centre in Puducherry, here a team of specialists identify disability and malnutrition at the initial stages of a child's life and help provide the right support so they can reach their maximum potential. Around 125 children between the ages of 0 and 6 years from both urban and rural areas of Puducherry and the neighbouring districts of Tamil Nadu have benefited by this centre. The cost of care for one child per month is ₹3,750.

Skill training centre

VOCATIONAL training plays a crucial role in making persons with disabilities self-reliant and improving their quality of life. Satya provide them on-the-job training in various occupational skills, use a simulated work environment to build their confidence and help them in tapping potential employment opportunities. Just ₹3,000 can help train these young adults in various skills such as bakery, back office data processing, housekeeping and organic farming.

Education at AICE

THE Alternative Inclusive Centre for Education is the newest addition to Satya's umbrella of services. Despite the right to education, children with disabilities often excluded which further pushes them down in the social ladder. Following a mainstream curriculum, this school provides a safe environment where children are not labelled. And with the support of a psychologist and counsellors, students are encouraged to reach their full potential. Every ₹5,000 will support a child for a month.

About Satya Special School

I was really overwhelmed by seeing the kind of service Satya is doing for the disabled and disadvantaged children of society. No doubt, it is one of the largest and well-run organisations in the country. They are really doing yeoman services.

Lt. General. S .M. Mehta (Retd), CEO, The Hans Foundation, New Delhi

I am very impressed by your facilities and the individual attention offered to the kids. Brilliant to have the mothers and siblings involved and hope to see more fathers in the future. Really glad I made time to visit and will be glad to do so again.

Kalki Koechlin, actor, Mumbai

Satya have been a boon to parents like us. The individual care and support that is given not only ensures improvement in the child's condition but also gives us parents a lot of confidence and support to face the future.

Suresh Jagadeesan, parent, Puducherry

  • B. Narayanaswamy Executive Committee Member
  • Nalini Ranganathan Executive Committee Member
  • Aroquia Radje Ceaser Executive Committee Member
  • Chitra Shah Treasurer & Director
  • Nallam Krishna Babu General Secretary
  • Sita Ram Kumar Vice President
  • Bindhu Modi President