As part of the programme for identification of children either at “risk” for developing a disability or already disabled in some manner, a survey was conducted in the resettlement colony of Dakshinpuri in South Delhi. One of the children thus identified by the Home Intervention workers during their survey was three year old Aman.

When Aman was first identified his physical condition was extremely bad. He was malnourished to the point of emaciation. He was being looked after by his aunt who was his father’s sister. The aunt had to come from the village to look after her brother’s family since after coming to Delhi her brother had become an alcoholic. His finances and his strength were frittered away on getting enough alcohol every day. His wife, already depressed due to their financial circumstances had given up caring for the family. The repercussions of this situation was on the two children, Aman and his older brother, who were neglected, malnourished and deprived of any sort of stimulation.

When SAMADHAN first came in contact with Aman’s family during the survey the father had died six months before and his wife had also finally given in to her depression and had recently died. So Aman and his brother had become the responsibility of the aunt who was not prepared for this. However, in the aunt, who was a widow, we found a surprising dedication to the two boys and to her brother’s family. She had decided to stay on with the boys and bring hem up. She had to take on some work to enable her to do this. She was to able to manage  very well. But as she herself said, the little boy Aman defeated even her well meaning attempts to help.

Aman had been neglected by his parents. They had found it difficult to deal with him since he was “not intelligent”  as they put it. Being unable to teach him anything, the mother had just given up any attempts. As a result his initial ability to walk had gradually deteriorated to completed immobility. The inability to cope with him was reflected in the lack of any kind of efforts to teach him even the basic skills which were age appropriate.

When the Home intervention workers first saw Aman, he was sitting up in bed, wearing soiled and dirty clothes and surrounded by dried crumbs of chappati which had been his meal the night before. The aunt understandably did not have time to give him more attention. His brother also looked after him after he came home from school. Until them Aman was left to himself. He therefore developed a tendency to keep lying down and consequently became dependent on his brother and aunt even for small needs.

Aman was brought to the Centre for a detailed assessment. The results showed that Aman was mentally retarded but was borderline. It was felt that this may have been caused by environmental and cultural deprivation and lack of support at home.

Aman was put on the Home Intervention Programme. A Home Intervention Worker began visiting once a week to give Aman the basic physio therapy needed and to counsel and guide the aunt. Fortunately, the aunt was extremely supportive of our efforts. She began to bring Aman regularly to the Centre for physio Therapy. Regular exercises on the equipment provided at the Centre began to make a difference and Aman gradually started to walk independently. He can run around and climb up and down stairs. He has attained a good equilibrium.

Since he is also mentally retarded a programme was planned specifically for Aman. And the Home Intervention Worker started working with him at home. The aunt was also taught how to modify his behaviour and given the training to work with him at home. His new found freedom of movement made life more interesting for Aman. He bagan to respond to stimuli. The Home Intervention Worker was able to initiate a programme for self help skills and for language understanding improved.

When Aman turned five he was admitted to the Special Education Unit. He was in group of five children with a teacher who was able to understand his handicap and respond to  his needs. The Home Intervention Worker who first identified him also works with him sometimes. At the Centre Aman was given Speech Therapy once a week and Physio Therapy every single day. He has learnt the basics of the alphabets and numbers. He has become talkative and is full of laughter and noise. He feels free enough to come down to the Physio Therapy Clinic and climb on to the exercise bicycle any time he feels like it.

Once Aman becomes 13 or 14 and picks up sufficient daily living and functional skills he will be sent on to the Vocational Training Unit. The prognosis for a better future is bright since Aman has now achieved the physical coordination necessary for later work in the wood work unit of SAMADHAN. 

About the Founder

Mrs Pramila Balasundaram is the Founder-Director of Samadhan and has a Masters in English Literature and Semantics, Bangalore University. She is trained in Drama Therapy under Dr Sue Jennings, founder of Dramatherapy movement in the U.K and she has underwent hands on Experiential Training course in Germany sponsored by Lebenshilfe, which helped her to launch her NGO...

Administrative Office

Samadhan, Centre for Human Resources
Sector 2, Pocket 2,
Dwarka, New Delhi - 1100 75

+91-11-2507 3137
91-11- 45516693

Regsitered Office

Samadhan, Centre for Human Resources
F-Block Main Park, Sector-V,
Dakshinpuri, New Delhi - 110 062

+91-11-2905 4367

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