Mumbai gets its first special school for paediatric patients

Jul 02, 2018, 12:47 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

Wadia hospital launches the first-of-its-kind school to provide training to minor patients with special needs

Mumbai gets its first special school for paediatric patients
The CECWD will have experts to help kids with speech therapy, vision rehabilitation, etc. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Mumbai's first school for paediatric patients with special needs was launched at Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital last week. The hospital receives around 1,200 differently abled children as patients every year.

Special facilities for special needs
"These differently abled paediatric patients, including autistic children, are slow learners. They need special attention and care in their education and training to live a self-sustained life. Also, their treatment goes on for years, and they need to visit the hospital on a nearly daily basis. Thus, we thought of starting a school system at the hospital that would run till 5 pm on weekdays, like other schools," said Dr Mini Bodhanwala, CEO of Wadia hospital. Currently, it has the capacity to cater to 40 such patients at a time on the weekdays.

The hospital launched the Centre for Empowerment of Children with Disabilities (CECWD) on Thursday to mark Helen Keller week. Keller was a famous deaf-blind American writer and activist who is an inspiration to several differently abled people. "Her achievements would not have been possible without the support of her teacher Anne Sullivan. At the CECWD, special educators like Sullivan will be appointed to empower children with disabilities," said Dr Bodhanwala.

Many experts under one roof
"The training will be provided at an extremely affordable price. Various experts like speech therapists, physiologists and vision rehabilitation specialists will train these children under the same roof," added Dr Bodhanwala.

In Maharashtra alone, the 2011 census showed that there were 6,26,809 people living with disabilities in the 0-19 age group. 44,083 of them are living with multiple disabilities. There are very few centres that provide support to this large population.

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