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The government of Karnataka (the Indian state in which Margardashi operates) estimates that around 3.5 million residents of Karnataka suffer from some form of disability. Due to a lack of awareness, poverty, or structural barriers, many children with disabilities either leave school or are never enrolled. When these children come from poor families, they are often sent to work to bring home extra income, as limited resources means that families are often unable or unwilling to pay the fees to send these children to school. This is even more troubling because an education is the principal tool that can help these children overcome the challenges imposed by their physical conditions.
This project will allow Margadarshi to provide financial assistance for one academic year for 30 children with disabilities from impoverished families, so that they may continue their studies and prevent them from dropping out of school. To encourage the education of children with disabilities, Margadarshi supports these children by putting them back into the mainstream education system through scholarships, counseling, and other required support services. Since all of the children in this education program have disabilities, therapy and the provision of assistive devices are integrated into the program. Margadarshi also works to inform the parents of these children by offering a series of structured training workshops to help them develop a positive attitude towards the educational needs of these children. The final aim of Margadarshi's program is that these children will finish school and find gainful employment. To work towards this goal, Margadarshi will offer financial support for 30 children with disabilities, between the ages of 6-18, to continue their education. This process will include:
The provision of education for these 30 children will serve as a stepping stone towards a future of self-reliance, as well as a life of productivity that can serve as an example to others with similar circumstances. This program also seeks to foster an inclusive educational environment where teachers develop modules that allow children with disabilities to participate in the curriculum and extra-curricular activities. By sharing lessons and results of this project, Margadarshi will sensitize communities and establishments to promote inclusion and ensure basic human rights of people with disabilities, which should also encourage other parents to prioritize the education of their children with disabilities.
- Identifying needy children with disabilities through Margadarshi's camps/workshops, or through word-of-mouth.
- Working with the parents to understand the need to educate their children.
- Conducting meetings to sensitize teachers and school officials to admit more children with disabilities.
- Admitting female students with severe disabilities into Margadarshi's residential hostel to prevent dropouts.
- Providing children with disabilities with appropriate aids and assistive devices so that they may fully-participate in the learning environment.
- Covering the costs of extra coaching and tutoring to ensure that these children are able to keep up with their studies.