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Prabhat Mobile

Campaign by Society For Child Development

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In India, 90 percent of India’s estimated 40 million children aged 4-16 years with physical and mental disabilities are out of school. In Delhi, a recent study indicated that only 1% children with physical disabilities and 0.1% of children with intellectual disabilities received education of any kind – formal or informal.

Despite the amendments made to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act to include children with disability in the present educational system, such children continue to remain out of school.

Covid-19 added to the already bad situation, by leaving out of the online digital learning system the remaining 10% who were in school – Special or otherwise.

Why disabled children are usually out of school

1.      Most believe that children with special needs cannot benefit in a regular school system. This is a fallacy, since more than 66% of such children are educable till grade 5, provided appropriate modifications are made to their early learning experiences, and a strong pre-academic foundation is developed.

2.      However, many disabled children who are out of school (especially those from the low-income groups) have not been exposed to a learning environment – according to reports, even anganwadi centers do not encourage their attendance, thus vital school readiness skills are left unattended.

3.      Special Schools, due to high operational costs have been able to reach out to only a miniscule population. Besides, the vast distances in Delhi makes it expensive and time-consuming to even reach the school.

4.      Disabled children in their early years require therapeutic interventions that may not be easily available, and hence vital years are lost, making the child over age for the class.

5.      Working parents – with both parents working, children are usually left to fend for themselves or are entrusted to the care of the older girl child. When the child is disabled (disability and poverty are closely linked) the sibling parent can only provide physical care to keep them alive. There are no further inputs.

Intellectually challenged children who belong to the poorest families of the slums of Delhi have little or no access to formal educational facilities due to financial and other hardships. In addition, they also require specific interventions to help them be independent enough to attend formal school.

When integrated with a diverse population, all children develop holistic and humane characteristics that hold in good stead in adult life.

And for those children with disability, who benefit from exclusive one-on-one engagements, services need to be provided at their doorstep.

It is often said “If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn”. 

And we add to that by saying, “If the child cannot reach the school, then the school must reach the child”

This project is an extension of Prabhat Special School, which has been providing center-based special educational services to children with disability from low income areas since 1992.

This extension is considered essential as it is believed that all children with disability must be educated and the onus is on the service-provider to work out different means. The choice of Doorstep education would help vulnerable families with the choice of opting for either home or center based services as per their own need.

The objective is to prepare the child, who is unable to come for center-based education in a special facility to be readied for local school admission or be provided continuous doorstep education.

This will be done by taking educational facilities to their doorstep so that the child receives the opportunity to learn and become ready to avail of formal schooling in the neighborhood.  

This will extend the intended benefits of the National Education Policy 2020 and the Right to Education to these deprived children who belong to the poorest strata of our society, thus paving a way for these children to live a dignified and purposeful adult life.


·        The Doorstep school will be housed in a bus and will be equipped with multi-media facilities, blackboard, books, toys, stationery and other basic educational requirements for children with special needs.

·        Basic educational facilities for children between the ages of 6-14 years will be catered for.

·        Basic physio/occupational and speech therapy facilities will be provided, and where required the children will be referred to advanced centers for treatment.

·        The bus will go to 4 selected slum clusters (each area will thus be visited two times a week) where intellectually disabled children reside, (but do not have access to education) and provide educational and therapeutic services for 2 to 3 hours at two slums each day.

In addition,

·        Identify and provide educational and therapeutic facilities to (at least) 200 children with disabilities in each slum, thus reaching a target of 800 children by the end of the 1st per month.

·        At the end of year 1, efforts will be made to ensure their inclusion in mainstream schools or be further trained and educated in Prabhat Resource Center in case of children with moderate and severe levels of disability.

Identification of Beneficiaries

Since 2010, SfCD has been working in collaboration with the North Delhi District Commissioners’ office to generate awareness and assist families of persons with disability avail of facilities provided by the government.

The Disability Cell was started in November 2010 under the patronage of Sh ZU Siddiqui, Deputy Commissioner (North district) and Chairperson, Local Level Committee (North Delhi) of the National Trust for the welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral palsy, Mental retardation and Multiple disabilities.

Community based awareness programs are conducted on the last Saturday of every month where an average of 15 new families visit. From November 2010 to December 2019, the Cell provided knowledge and facilities to 4176 persons with disabilities and their families. 

In addition to the assistance provided to the people, certification of persons with disability, especially those with Intellectual disability, autism, cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities (who often have to make several trips to the hospital) were facilitated by connecting with the outreach centers of Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) in Timarpur and Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital, Jahangirpuri.

Verifiable Beneficiary Data

All relevant details of the child and their families will be recorded along with attested copies of government issued documents.

Communities served by this project

Families of children with disability from low income communities

Duration of the Intervention

On-going project, with impact assessment carried out every year.

Assess 2,00,000 population for disability identification in children

Impact measurement

All Quantitative metrics will be as per the following:

·        Number of children reached and their attendance details

·        Number of children admitted in regular schools

·        Number of children continuing Doorstep Education

Qualitative data gathered to assess impact will include:

·        Satisfaction levels of parents

·        Improvements in physical and mental performance

Society For Child Development

Society For Child Development

Beneficiary Charity

Madhumita Puri

Madhumita Puri


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