With an objective to connect children with special needs (CWSN) with the main education system, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) have jointly organised a five-day assistive devices distribution camp for such children in Amritsar district.
Under the supervision of Amritsar deputy commissioner (DC) Ravi Bhagat, the district education authorities in association with the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), a Government of India undertaking under the ministry of social justice and empowerment, distributed assistive devices among more than 280 children, who during an assessment camp in October 2014 had been recommended to get the devices, said Dharminder Singh, district resource person, department of inclusive education for disabled, SSA.
The project is jointly funded by the Centre (60%) and the Punjab government (40%).
“As many as 425 children with special needs from various government schools and others had participated in the October 2014 assessment camp, while only 284 were recommended to get the assistive device. A single assistive devise costs Rs 4,000-Rs 6,000 approximately,” said the resource person.
The five-day camp was inaugurated at Government Elementary School, Sharifpura, here by Inderbir Singh Bolaria, chief parliamentary secretary (CPS, education), on May 4 and was divided block-wise for the distribution of assistive devices.
On Day 1 on Monday, devices were distributed among the children from Amritsar education blocks one, two, three and four; while on Day 2, children from five, six and Verka block got the device.
On the third day on Thursday, the distribution camp was shifted to Ajnala, where the devices were distributed among the children from Ajnala and Chugavan.
On the fourth day, the camp was shifted to Baba Bakala, where devices were distributed among the children from Rayya, Jandiala Guru and Tarsika.
On Friday, the camp will be shifted to Government Elementary School, Nag Kalan, under which Majitha 1 and 2 blocks will be covered, where the DC will be meeting the families of these special children.
Amritsar district education officer (DEO) Satish Kumar said: “Under the project, the children with special needs from 6-14 years of age and also children studying in Classes 9-12 had been given devises like wheelchair, crutches, artificial limbs, tri-cycles, hearing aids etc, with an aim to bring them to the school, educate them and connect them with normal children.”
Bhagat said, “The project will provide the much-needed support to the people who couldn’t afford assistive devise for their children. At the camp, the children and their families get a chance to interact with professionals and seek guidance from them.”
“Considering the success of the camp, I have asked for a survey by the ministry of social justice and empowerment, which will include physically-challenged people of all age groups and genders from across the district,” the DC added.