The Rainbow Hut in Bengaluru offers support to kids with autism in many ways
As parents of children with autism, Ramesh K and Vani Rajendra were well aware of how critical the need for support is for families with kids on the autism spectrum.
They decided to act by setting up Rainbow Hut, an exclusive centre for children with autism that offers various programmes and camps.
Rainbow Hut works at three levels. One, where they make sure a child gets to learn a skill that helps them in day-to-day life. Once they master the craft, they are introduced to more vocational skills that will help them become financially independent and improve the overall development. At a later stage, the child is introduced to sheltered employment, where Rainbow Hut employs the child.
Currently, there are over 60 students at their centre in Bengaluru. All of them are between 14 to 20 years of age. They are mastering the skills needed to face a competitive world with grit and determination.
Awareness about disabilities still remains a distant dream, especially amongst parents. We are trying to do our bit to spread the word. I feel that the government is doing a great job when it comes to awareness of disabilities. Their initiatives are going on the right path. Today, many government schools have exclusive units for disabled children. But there is a lot of work that has to happen. – Ramesh K, Co-founder, Rainbow Hut.
Yet another important programme relates to Parent Awareness, where parents are made aware about the child’s disabilities and how they can help improve the overall wellbeing of their child. One of the primary requirements is for parents to spend time with their child.
Rainbow Hut aims to create an exclusive village for children and adults with autism called Happiness Village. Work on this is underway. The village will be run by children and adults with autism. This is a way to mainstream them. People with autism can spend their lives here with dignity and honour. If all goes well, the village will be up and running in five years.
Gopi Ramakrishnan, Trustee, Special Child Assistance Network (SCAN), a network that supports families of children with disabilities, says the idea of a village is a good one.
“There are some really good autism centres that provide services like how Rainbow Hut does. There are a large number of adults with autism. Such sheltered employment services are going to be of great help them to them. Parents must be aware of the centres that they send their child to. Centres must have CCTV cameras and parents must always keep a watch on the child. They must choose a reputed, transparent and good place for their disabled child”, says Gopi.