You open the tap, brush your teeth and comb your hair. A few minutes later, you bolt the door and climb the staircase. Simple enough, and things that most of us take for granted. But for the children in the Sweekaar Rehabilitation Institute For The Handicapped afflicted with cerebral palsy, learning to perform simple day-to-day activities like these take enormous patience and effort.
Sweekaar, founded in 1977 as a small clinic by Dr. Hanumantha Rao, was an attempt to bring all services for handicapped people under one roof. Today, it has grown to become a bustling center of activity with hundreds of employees at more than one location and even several sister organizations. Sweekaar also conducts undergraduate and PG programmes (Diploma/Degree) in Disabled Rehabilitation.
The Institute has trained paramedics and teachers with a degree in Special Education to look after the deaf-mute children and those with cerebral palsy. Special hearing aids and amplifiers are used to help the deaf understand normal language. Children with cerebral palsy are trained in day-to-day activities at the well-equipped physiotherapy center, which is open to the general public. Joint and back pains are addressed using a range of pain-relieving techniques. Amputees come here to purchase and learn how to use prosthetic limbs.
All the inmates receive vocational training to facilitate their transition from a life of dependence to one of self-sufficiency. The younger children learn to make candles and other small arts and crafts, while the older ones are taught skills like carpentry and tailoring.
Membership and Volunteer Opportunities
It is easy to watch Black in a theater and be moved by it. But if you want a first-hand feel for how the handicapped live from day to day, a visit to the Sweekaar Upkaar Institute is a must.
Although handling the children requires professional training and experience, volunteers are needed to conduct awareness camps and clothes drives. If you have a Sunday to spare, you could hold a clothes drive in your neighbourhood for Sweekaar.
If you are in a health-related industry, you could sensitize people to the problem and make them aware that the disabled need to be treated with respect and dignity. You could also lobby for greater rights and facilities for the handicapped, such as ramps for wheelchairs in all public places, books in Braille at the public library and so on.
Cash donations are welcome. For more information, please contact Sweekaar Upkaar at the phone numbers given above.