Sankalp, a special school in Chennai is empowering children with special needs!

Sankalp, rated among Chennai's top schools, offers children with special needs in the city a world of opportunities. Over 200 children with autism and learning disabilities study in this school, which was started in the city by1999.

The founders, Subhashini Rao, Lakshmi Krishnakumar and Sulata Ajit, have a wealth of experience working with special needs children and they are bringing that to the school. They knew the gaps in the existing system well and they started Sankalp to address that lack.

What Sankalp brings

There is a team of over 70 special educators, occupational therapists, Vocational trainers and assisting staff who work together to empower the children studying in Sankalp.

We want our children to improve holistically. We aim to empower them and helps them lead a normal life in the society with dignity and honour - Subhashini Rao, Co-founder, Sankalp

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Since they stepped into the field of special education 18 years ago, Sankalp has won many awards and recognitions. Parents of children in the school say they are very satisfied with the quality of care and attention given here.

Among them is Ritiwik son of Suba Rajesh, who has finished class 10 from Sankalp. He has been a part of the school for the last 12 years. When Ritwik was a child, Suba was quite worried about his future as there were few schools that reached out to children with special needs. That is when she got to know about Sankalp.

Sankalp has proved their dedication towards education of children with special needs. My son has autism. Sankalp has helped him look at the brighter side in life. He has always been interested in academics over extra-curricular activities. Sankalp channelized his skills - Suba Rajesh, Parent.

Apart from academics, Sankalp takes children on field trips. Children also get a chance to show their skills in dance, music, and arts on special days like Republic Day, Independence Day, and other festivals.

Some roadblocks

When they first started their campus at Anna Nagar, the founders knew that they would have to face a few barriers, the main one being the lack of special educators.

Most of the special educators have their own clinics or they go abroad for better money. We have three rented spaces now. We find the dearth of special educators a big problem- adds Subhashini Rao, Co-founder, Sankalp.

Sankalp has a tie-up with the Madras University, where special educators are put through a three-month training program. They have an in-house project called Spices, which is already in the pipeline. This project will empower children with autism and their mothers to work together to create livelihood opportunities.

We will teach them how to mix, powder and create spices. This way they will be able to work from their homes. The parent and the child can work together. This will help tighten their bond as well - Subhashini Rao, Co-founder, Sankalp.

Students from Sankalp are a regular sight at Special Olympics. Over the past few years, they have brought home many trophies. Sankalp also plans to help their students venture more into the world of sports.

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