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#ThankYouTeacher- Nishamol’s perseverance to empower children with disabilities makes her most loved teacher

This month we are presenting stories of teachers who have empowered and touched lives of children with disabilities. In our last story on the series, we have Nishamol KE, a special educator, vice-principal and co-founder of Navajeevan Special School in Kochi. Nishamol has been working in the disability space for over twenty years and has empowered hundreds of children with all kinds of disabilities.

Ever since childhood, Nishamol KE nurtured a dream and that was to become a teacher. Today, in her career span that lasts for over twenty years, Nishamol has empowered hundreds of children with disabilities. She has a gleam and excitement in her eyes when she talks about her first tryst with a disabled child. Nishamol, who is also the co-founder and vice-principal of Navajeevan Special School shares her experience of being one of the most loved teachers at the school.

Nishamol lives in Kumbalangi, a small village near Kochi. Every day, she travels more for over an hour to reach to her school at Palarivattom. But the long journeys and hardships does not matter to her as long as she can spend time with the 50 odd children with disabilities at Navajeevan. While pursuing her BA in History, Nishamol accidentally stumbled upon a child with an intellectual disability for whom she started taking tuitions at home.

That was my first tryst with a child with special needs. One day I fell ill and went to consult Dr Pramila who used to work along with disabled children. When she came to know that I teach children, she asked me to help one of them who had an intellectual disability. While teaching the kid I realised that this profession was my true calling. It has been twenty years and I wouldn't want my career to have been any other way-Nishamol KE

Nishamol had to drop college while pursuing her second year. But she soon joined Raksha School special educator training where she got to know in-depth about disability space. She says that her family comprising of husband and two kids are her biggest supporters. "This field does not reward you too well. There were many days when I faced financial constraints. But I'am glad that I chose this profession", she says.

Nishamol has worked with other special schools before starting one of her own along with co-founder Shiny Vinson. Children with multiple disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy and other learning disabilities are all part of her school today.

Nishamol has a message to all aspiring special educators. "There will be days when you tend to lose patience and feel low. But always remember to be kind to children with special needs because they already go through a lot of struggles in daily life", she says. Nishamol focuses mainly on English, Maths and Business Studies. She is extremely happy with her profession and wants to do more in the disability space.

"Nishamol's dedication and passion towards her job is truly inspiring. As a treasurer of Navajeevan Trust, she has made sure our centre gets nothing lesser than the best. Her role towards shaping character of hundreds of children is something to look up to", says Shiny Vinson.

Also Read: #ThankYouTeacher - Elizabeth Shirley's grit & determination to help children with disabilities is inspiring

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