A school for children with learning disabilities makes them feel loved and accomplished in its own way
Necessity is the mother of invention. Nobody understands this adage better than Kalyani Madineni, founder and chairperson of Ganamas Special School in Borabanda, SR Nagar. Her struggle to find the right school for her son Bhargav Sai, a special child diagnosed with autism, compelled her to establish one that educated children like Bhargav with love, care and dignity. What started as a way to resolve her problem in 2012 has today grown into a school that teaches 35 children, all with various learning disabilities. "Of these, we have 22 underprivileged special children who get free schooling here along with
therapy and lunch,” she says.
Ganamas (short for Gift a Need and Make a Smile) teaches special children (those with a disability that makes learning and other activities difficult) modules such as behavior modification, speech, communication, academics, mainstreaming, vocational skills, etc. in a not-for-profit model. Children receive care, training and rehabilitation services, support for medical, social and developmental expenses. “Special children can be a handful. Having them eat at school without the hassle of the parent having to be present can save them a lot of time and therefore, among other things, we have hired a cook and
some domestic help who oversee the free lunch,”, says Kalyani, a banker turned
special school founder.
Leveraging latent talent:
The school also provides vocational training in making greeting cards, artworks, soft toy making, etc, which leverages their sense of touch and artistic bent of mind to help them feel accomplished, and perhaps be able to earn in the future. On a typical day, Kalyani dons the avatar of a parent counsellor, teacher, admin staff and even a gentle disciplinarian with special kids who are over stimulated and need to calm down.
Ganamas is now working towards creating awareness on how to identify special children and help them gently embrace schools where they receive the right kind of education. “We are focussing on facilitation for schemes and benefits to the children with special needs from the government,”; she adds.
How you can help:
– Donate teaching and learning materials and educational toys for the students
– Sponsor monthly groceries for the free meal
– Sponsor one meal in a day to celebrate your birthday or anniversary with the
kids in the school premises
– Volunteer one hour a month during weekends to teach the kids yoga, dance,
painting and music
“Of these, we have 22 underprivileged special children who get free
schooling here along with therapy and lunch” – Kalyani Madineni, Founder
Address: GANAMAS Foundation and School, Opposite Chest Hospital, SR NagarTel: 96661 99935 Website: www.ganamas.org