THE birth of a child is seen as a celebration. In homes across India, parents host parties where sweets are distributed and the newborn is showered with presents. The parents place their hopes on the child and believe that their lives and futures are full of potential and are capable of reaching the stars. But also in countless homes, parents mourn. When a baby is born with disabilities, the child is seen as a curse. Their hopes dissipate and they either blame themselves for their child being in that condition or look for ways to abandon the child on the streets or an NGO for children with disabilities. 

It sounds harsh to hear of parents plotting to leave their children on the streets, but this is the reality across India. Children with disabilities are regarded as a burden and curse and are unwanted. Society For Child Development is an NGO for children that educates children with disabilities and enables them to build strong lives and futures. Founded in 1992, Delhi-based Society For Child Development focuses on education, skills development and livelihood opportunities for differently-abled children and young people.

How are children with disabilities disadvantaged?

There are millions of children in India with disabilities in some form or the other. This includes mental and physical disabilities, which limit a child’s opportunities to develop, grow, participate and have access to basic rights such as education. When children and young people are denied the chance to go to school or college, their futures are limited and their lives are marked by poverty and suffering. 

But when differently-abled children are not given the chance to be educated, their limited options are removed and they are forced to spend their entire lives without the chance to accomplish their hopes and dreams. It is difficult for people with physical disabilities to have free movement In educational institutions, workplaces and public transportation. Often, places do not have disability access services such as wheelchair access on walkways or bathrooms. This serves as a hurdle for people with physical disabilities. 

Families who are able to send their children to “special schools” receive the support they need to help their children assimilate into mainstream schools and workplaces. But low-income families can neither afford these special services nor have access to them in the first place. COVID-19 restrictions worsened the situation which parts of India have still not recovered from. 

The mission of SFCD as an NGO for children with disabilities is to make sure that the required educational and vocational opportunities are provided to facilitate self-sufficient futures. 

a woman playing with children

Society For Child Development’s approach

Society For Child Development, as an NGO for children and young people with disabilities, applies a three-fold approach: education, skills development and livelihood opportunities. The NGO for children is staffed by professionals from the medical and behavioral sciences, teachers and parents of children with disabilities. SFCD aims to provide equal opportunities through innovative and impact driven programs offered by the NGO.  

Society For Child Development provides specialized education programs to children with disabilities which has improved their academic performance, communication skills and outlook on life. The nutritious meals the children eat twice a day has greatly improved their health and allowed them to be more physically active. 

Dr. Madhumita Puri explains that “from the time a disabled child takes admission in our institution until they are grown up, we meet all their needs at the appropriate time. This includes physiotherapy, early speech therapy, education, vocational training. In the past 32 years, I can confidently say that we have given these children the opportunities to improve their lives. This is not a regenerative business educational institution; we offer all our services for free. If our society collectively contributes to helping these children, they can make something out of their lives.”

Dr. Madhumita Puri’s mission 

Society For Child Development was founded by Dr. Madhumita Puri who shares that “everyone celebrates, dances and sings when welcoming a new child into the family. But when disabled children are born, people mourn – this is not right.” 

Dr. Madhumita Puri explains that children with mental and intellectual disabilities are just as capable as anyone else and can achieve what they set their minds to – they just need to be given the chance. In her words, “children who are intellectually disabled need to be taught at every stage; some need to be taught how to walk or how to talk and some even need to be taught the alphabet.” But once they receive assistance, they are able to apply themselves and their potential shines. 

In addition to providing educational instruction, the NGO for children also gives them behavioral instruction. Dr. Madhumita Puri explains that “their behavior needs to be managed because for multiple reasons, some of them have disruptive behavior too.” In helping them in the exact areas they need support, SFCD can ensure that these children and young people are able to connect and communicate with people and live independent lives. 

Support Society For Child Development

To help Dr. Madhumita Puri’s NGO for children with disabilities, your charitable contribution will help the organization equip their teaching staff, restock their school supplies and reach out to more children whose families need Society For Child Development’s help to improve their children’s futures. To support Society For Child Development, you can donate here: 

Support Society For Child Development


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