|Category:||Education for all|
11 year-old Anjali attends a CBM-supported school for children with disabilities. She was born with physical and learning disabilities. Unable to afford treatment and with no specialist support to help them understand Anjali’s needs, her parents initially could not cope with caring for her. But her grandparents Vallabu and Hansa were determined to do the best they could for her.
At seven, Anjali started to walk and gradually she started to communicate through head shaking or sounds. But she was isolated and unhappy, spending most of the day sitting alone in the house, doing nothing.
“We knew we must do something, and try and get her out of the house and with other children”, explains Vallabu. “We enrolled her into school but she was sent home after three days. The principal visited us and asked us not to bring her back. She was going to the toilet on herself.”
Then a family member who worked with CBM’s education partner in India encouraged Vallabu and Hansa to bring Anjali to our centre which specialises in education for children with physical and intellectual disabilities.
“When she first came to the school, almost three years ago now, she sat by herself. Her parents did not know how to care for her. Her grandparents were also wanting the best for Anjali. She was afraid and very shy”, explains Anjali’s teacher Kaena.
With regular and consistent teaching and encouragement, Anjali began to make progress. And for the first time, her family and teachers realised that the Anjali also had a visual impairment, which had cut her off further from her surroundings. “We showed her colours, textures and objects and now she is starting to recognise these things” Kaena said.
“We were all very excited when Anjali began to see. She smiled and clapped when she got the questions right and it was a great breakthrough. Now she is getting to learn how to make juice and soon she will learn more difficult things. This is our hope.”
“She is moving a lot more and is very busy. She is showing that she can do things on her own, without being supported, which means we can work more and do things around the house. My hope is she will soon be able to sew or even do hairdressing and become self-sufficient. But this is a long way off I think.” Vallabu says.
“I can see an enormous change in Anjali. Thanks to the project and the gifts made by CBM, she is happier and is smiling much more.”
Her parents are happier too. Krishna is beginning to understand Anjali’s needs. Anjali has returned home and is now the big sister to five-year old Manev. She looks forward to going to school every second day and particularly enjoys playing with balloons.
“We will continue to do whatever we can each day, but God will decide for Anjali” Vallabu says of Anjali’s future.