THE SOCIAL PROBLEM
Currently there are about 97 children with special needs (CWSN) in various parts of Panchkula who are not able to make use of various formal or special education systems provided by the government.
Their accessibility to the system could be limited due to various factors, some of which are listed below:
- Remoteness of location: A few blocks in Panchkula are hilly and remote. Further in some of the villages are not be close to the facility where care for CWSN is provided.
- Physical limitation: Given their physical and mental states, children with special needs are unable to traverse the long distances.
- Financial Constraints: The families of these children are unable to afford specialized care from private institutions.
- Family Structure: Given breadwinners in the household may move out to work in the day, the caregiver to the child (often the mother) may not be able to bring the child to a resource center.
Due to these reasons mentioned the number of CWSN who are unable to access government education and health facilities is actually higher. There also are 1000+ CWSN who need help on thier physical and mental needs continually.
ABOUT THE INITIATIVE
A School on Wheels for these children with Special Needs, Kalam Express aims to take healthcare and education to the to the door of every CWSN. Equipped with a special educator, a physiotherapist and a speech therapist (on a need-to basis) the bus drives to locations of CWSN every day of the month to impart special education and therapy.
There is a ramp that enables the CWSN to come onboard the bus to learn and play. The bus is also equipped with a library, play-and-learn kits , a television, a laptop and physiotherapy equipment to help facilitate learning. The Kalaam Express is operationally managed with the help of the District Red Cross Society as a part of the district administration efforts to reach out to these CWSN.
- The Kalam Express has helped many CWSN find support to be able to continue their regular studies and instill abilities to join a regular school again with motivation from home and the bus.
- The initiative has helped improve lives of children with Cerebral Palsy.
- The curriculum being imparted by the special educator has helped in an increase of motor skills
- The Kalam Express is in the process helping many children become a relief to their parents.
The Hon’ble Governor of Haryana Shri. Kaptan Singh Solanki launched the project on 15 Aug 2017 in Panchkula, Haryana.
External Media channels such as the Tribune and websites such as Yourstory have covered the Project, documenting the lives of the people involved.
Go2C, as VKFs India Entity seeks to work with the district administration and the District Red Cross Society to help finetune the project and establish it at a larger scale.
Website : http://www.redcrosspanchkula.com/