Bid to promote craft skills among mentally disabled

The vocational training centre at Shanthi Nilayam, the home for mentally retarded girls, in Bonakal is striving to promote vocational skills cum craft activities among its inmates apart from catering to their special needs through various interventions such as special education, speech and physiotherapy.

Set up in 2004 by a non-governmental organisation, the institution has won accolades for its consistent services to mentally retarded girls with compassion. It opened a vocational training centre in January this year to impart vocational training to the inmates with a view to fostering their overall well-being.

The centre has carved out a niche for itself in a short span with the organisers taking keen interest to make utility items such as paper plates and glasses as well as sanitary pads. The centre is also helping women from poor families of the mandal learn the vocational skills and tread the path of financial self-reliance.

As many as 68 mentally retarded girls from both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are presently sheltered in the home.

“We have been consistently providing special education, various therapies to our inmates to improve their speech and language skills besides promote their overall well-being,” said Sister Alphie, the in-charge of the home, who hails from Kerala.

Bishop Maipan Paul of Khammam RCM Church and other philanthropists are constantly supporting us in our endeavour, she said.

The vocational training centre has made the home self-sufficient in terms of meeting the requirement of utility items such as sanitary napkins, she remarked, adding that several poor women from neighbouring villages are also actively involved in making utility items at the centre. “We are planning to take orders for supply of items like paper plates,” she added.


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