Get-hooked March 4, 2019
Centre for Empowerment & Enrichment reaches out to disabled children in Kochi
When it comes to having awareness about disabilities, our society still has a long way to go. That is why Dr Mary Anitha decided to start the Centre for Empowerment & Enrichment (CFEE) in Kochi. Almost 11 years old, CFEE reaches out to disabled children and their families to empower and enrich them. As Dr Anitha puts it, her NGO is a movement to bring disabled children to the limelight.
Dr Anitha founded the NGO in 2007 after she came back from abroad where she worked closely with disabled children. Upon her return back, Dr Anitha realised that she saw very few disabled children around in Kerala. She decided to do a close research on this and found out that both disabled children and their parents were shut down from society. That is when Dr Anitha knew that she had to step up and do her bit.
Our society mocks at disabled children and harass them in many ways. They think that the child does not understand all this. But they clearly do. They feel hurt and agitated. As a defence mechanism, they start getting irritated and might even become aggressive. It is high time that our society becomes more sensitive to needs of disabled children. Our society is now more aware of disabilities when compared to how it was in 2007. But we still have a long way to go-Dr Mary Anitha, Founder, CFEE
Dr Anitha points out that even the state government is insensitive towards needs of disabled children. According to the latest census, there are over 79,000 disabled children in Ernakulam district alone. But sadly, there is not even a government school or NGO that works exclusively for empowering these children.
“The government feels that it is inadequate and inappropriate to work for disabled children. I decided I must do all that I can to empower them. Most of the times, it is difficult to interact and understand needs of disabled children. You require a lot of patience and understanding. I hope I can reach out to kids who are in need”, adds Dr Anitha.
Currently, there are over 3720 disabled children who reach out to CFEE. All of them have various kinds of disabilities. Dr Anitha and her team hold various events and programmes across Kerala which participate disabled children. Last week, they had an exclusive screening of Tamil movie Peranbu at a theatre in Kerala. The screening was attended by Malayalam superstar Mammootty who also interacted with the kids.
Asha Pradeep‘s daughter Ammu has multiple disabilities. She has been a part of CFEE since the past three years.
“My daughter had exposure to new places and people after being a part of CFEE. Anitha is a great human being who is always there to help you. She is very supportive towards needs of disabled children. Most people limit their promises to words. But the team at CFEE believes in action. That is what made them a successful NGO as well”, says Asha Pradeep.
Dr Anitha is relentlessly working towards ways to support disabled children to bring them to mainstream. In spite of numerous road blocks, she is determined to create a more inclusive society where disabled children will be treated with dignity and respect.
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