Kerala school for kids with Down syndrome finds creative ways to enrich their lives

The Sradha School for Children with Special Needs is opening a new world for children with Down syndrome in Kerala.

Sradha is among the most sought after schools in Kochi. It was started in 1990 by a group of women from the Ernakulum Women’s Association.

Education & independence

There are 43 students with Down syndrome currently enrolled at this school. All of them are being trained to become independent to the best of their ability.

Most of the students enrolled in Sradha School are from poor backgrounds. So the parents have a time tough meeting even their basic needs at home.

Many of the students had tried to join mainstream schools. They were not accepted.

We provide vocational training, art classes and basic toilet training to our students. Our intention is to make them do things on their own, however small they may be. They may not be brilliant at academics. But they are smart, sensitive and loving. These are the basics that a human being needs – Sreekumari Menon, President, Sradha School for Children with Special Needs

Building confidence

The students here are involved in a range of activities like painting, games and different competitions. They also take part in events across various schools in Kochi.

Two of our students decided to take up jobs. One of them works at a flower shop, while another child is with a hotel. This makes us very proud – Lilly Kutty, Headmistress, Sradha School for Children with Special Needs

Sradha has five trained teachers and a few volunteers. The students are picked from their homes and dropped back. This is to make sure they do not drop out. Eight textbooks are given to the school by the state government. These have to be finished in five years.

However, the school needs financial support. Most of the funds come from the pockets of the women who run it.

We get funds from the state government. But that is a meager amount. We follow all government rules when it comes to teaching children with disabilities. We need more financial support - says Sreekumari Menon, President, Sradha School for Children with Special Needs

Despite these hurdles, the team behind Sradha is determined not to give up. Nothing can stop these women from doing their bit to enrich the lives of children with Down syndrome.

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