Margika is bringing stakeholders together for children with disorders
For parents and caregivers of children with disabilities, lack of information is a major challenge. Margika came about to address this gap by creating awareness, fighting stigma and by providing advance knowledge and best practices from the world over, in the field of education and treatment for children with disabilities.
Margika has been working for the welfare of children with mental and developmental disorders and disabilities in India for years. The involvement of Margika in making the education system inclusive has resulted in several initiatives and awareness programs, workshops, trainings, etc.
At one such workshop recently held in Pune, Margika collaborated with the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics bringing together teachers, parents and counsellors. "This kind of partnership is a must for the all round development of children with special needs", believes Dr Neena Rao, CEO/Founder, Margika
Involvement of all stakeholders is important to address the needs of children who face challenges like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and developmental disorders. - Dr Neena Rao, CEO/Founder, Margika
The workshop in Pune highlighted the need for various stakeholders to understand the importance of their respective roles in the lives of children. Over 60 participants agreed to the formation of a group under the banner of Margika to work together.
"We need to raise the bar from mere surviving to thriving and for this economic and overall sustainable advancement of these kids, a holistic approach is required with a bigger picture", said Dr Rao. "It takes a village to raise a child with special needs. Therefore collaboration will be the key to their future. Only then can we achieve mainstreaming of children with special needs. The aim of the workshop was to equip all stakeholders with effective tools and build capacities."
Parents and teachers have to understand that a child with disabilities or disorders has every right to be a part of the mainstream. Therefore, it is the duty of all stakeholders to make the education system inclusive and barrier-free, discouraging segregation on the basis of abilities.
A parent at the workshop, who did not wish to be identified, said that the workshop has helped him understand the needs of his child better. "I understood more about how to help children with learning and developmental issues. I also feel that all schools should be equipped to meet the educational needs of children with developmental disorders. There should be stricter policies in place and audit should be conducted to make sure that implementation is being done."
Another crucial aspect Margika looks at is the need for early screening of children with developmental disorders. It has launched a project in Gujarat for the screening of school going children for learning disabilities and will soon take it to other states. Currently, the organsation is making its mark in Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra by providing training to special educators, mainstream school teachers, and parents.