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This Bengaluru NGO looks to nature to improve the wellbeing of disabled kids

October 19, 2018

Nature's powers of healing have been talked about down the ages. And Bengaluru remains one of the few cities in India to offer access to nature through a range of parks and gardens.

It was this thought that led led Karthikeyan V and Radha Eswar to start the Horticultural Therapy Healing Centre recently.

Horticultural therapies as a means of promoting wellbeing is not new in India. However, over the years, there is less awareness about this in India, while in the West, it has become popular.

The Bengaluru centre focuses on empowering children with various kinds of disabilities including autism, Down syndrome, and other learning disabilities. Karthikeyan and Eashwar bring with them years of experience working with some prominent institutes in Kerala and Bengaluru. They decided to put their skills to use at a centre of their own to train the children in these skills and help them become independent.

We teach them gardening, weeding, watering and so on. They soon learn to run their own nursery. They can become independent and earn their livelihood by coming closer to nature. We sell products that are made by our students. 80% of the profit goes to the student. This kind of therapy is good for sensory enhancement, overall development and even emotional stability. Moreover, the person does not feel like that they are working or doing an exercise. We try and make it as much as fun as possible. - Karthikeyan V, Co-founder, Horticultural Therapy Healing Centre.

The founders say that disabled children needs to be aware of the food that they eat since keeping good health is critical. Something not many parents are aware of. The centre uses naturopathy to create awareness about good food habits among disabled children and teenagers.

Children above 10 years of age can seek admission here. With more parents becoming aware of the need to get involved with nature, the centre is acquiring popularity in Bengaluru.

Anubha Doshi, a therapist, says spending time with nature is integral to the overall wellbeing of children with disabilities.

"Spending time with nature definitely helps a lot of children with disabilities. It is great that such initiatives are introduced around us."

With green spaces rapidly diminishing in Indian cities, these young men and women are also helping to create greater awareness about conserving the environment.

ALSO READ: ALFAA centre for people with autism has a story of remarkable spirit behind it

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