KBF has more recently started a special class for children with learning and physical disabilities who live in the slum area. Although their families love these children, their poverty and social circumstances make it very difficult for them to meet their needs. Parents need to go out each day to earn money so that their family can eat. With no state facilities for these children to be looked after during the day, they are left with extremely limited options.
Often the only option is to leave them at home by themselves. In some cases, they have even been left tied to furniture with the intention of keeping them safe from physical harm.
For most, government schools are not suitable for their needs and the very small number of special schools in Kolkata are far away, expensive and way beyond these families’ financial means. Sadly, this also means that in most cases, the development of these children is not invested in. In short, they end up overlooked.
The “Special Stars” class at KBF offers one alternative.
Children can be picked up from their homes through the portering system and taken to the project during the day. Here they take part in a daily exercise programme as well as craft and learning activities. They play with toys and receive stimulation that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
A recent grant has enabled a qualified physiotherapist to visit regularly to do more specific exercises, working on movement, stability and physical development. We have seen real change in the way that some of these children respond and interact.