Disabled youth in Mangaluru look to Arivu Trust for direction
Arivu is a centre for disabled children in Mangaluru started by Poornima Bhat and her husband Dr Radhakrishna Bhat. Started in the year 2015, Arivu now empowers over 75 children and youngsters with disabilities like autism and Down syndrome. Poornima talks about her journey towards empowering the disabled community.
When Poornima Bhat and her husband Dr Radhakrishna Bhat started Arivu Trust in December 2015, the couple wanted to empower young children with disabilities and their parents too. Poornima, who has a son with Down syndrome, knew the needs and requirements of a disabled child. Moreover, she realised that Mangaluru has very few centres for disabled children. Today, Arivu empowers over 75 children and adults with disabilities in Mangaluru. Children from the age of two years to adults who are above 30 are all part of the centre.
Starting Arivu Trust
In the early 90s, there was no awareness about disabilities in most parts of India. Poornima’s son had to undergo therapies at Hyderabad because Mangaluru had very few therapy centres. The family later moved to the United States of America where Dr Radhakrishna got a new job. Upon their return back to India, the couple knew that they had to start a centre for those children with disabilities and their parents who are still in the dark.
Poornima, who also does therapies for disabled children, trains other professionals and teachers too.
Our main objective is to integrate as much disabled children possible to mainstream schools. Most of our children have mild or borderline disabilities. The good thing is that now people are becoming more aware about disabilities. One of the main reasons is the power of social media and Google. Knowledge and information is easily available at your fingertips. – Poornima Bhat, Founder, Arivu Trust.
Today, children with autism, Down syndrome and other learning disabilities are all part of Arivu.
An exclusive centre for disabled children and youngsters
Arivu Trust offers many programmes for the disabled community. According to Poornima, more organisations are stepping forward to work along with disabled people. Recently, Arivu tied up with the famous Forum Mall in the city to hold an event for disabled people. They had an exclusive stall for their cake fest. “People are starting to know the importance of inclusion. They are providing platforms for disabled people”, says Poornima.
Though Arivu has no government support for fund, a few kind-hearted people come forward to sponsor children. “Most of our services are not free. We charge a fee so that there is an accountability”, says Poornima.
The trained professionals and teachers at Arivu ensures that the children gets nothing lesser than the best. Each child is provided training according to their needs and requirements. This includes therapies, classes and vocational training.
“I’am glad that I started Arivu. It was need of the hour in Mangaluru city. Many parents are now realising the importance of early diagnosis of disabilities. The sooner the diagnoses happens, the faster the child can be introduced to therapies. Arivu has been successful in breaking stereotypes about disabilities. We tell parents to not just take care for their child, but also make them independent to face the real world”, says Poornima.
Reviews on social media platforms
Arivu has an exclusive social media page where they have some great reviews. “Homely and friendly environment for kids. Materials are used as per requirement of the child. Special care is taken of each child. Unconditional love and care is given due to which a child improves very well”, commented Lakshmi V Prabhu.
“Arivu works for to improving quality of life among children with development delays, in and around Mangalore city through trained and qualified Early Interventionists and experts”, commented Ramesh Gongadi Belagavi.
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