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Anugraha Sadan (Ben Home) is a centre for cerebral palsied children with multiple handicaps. It is situated in Thrissur District, Chalakudy Taluk, at Koodapuzha Village. It is on the way to Athirapilly waterfalls, 100 meters from the main Road and 1 Km away from Anamala Junction. It is nearly Chalakudy Forane church, about 15 Kms away from Kochi airport and 3 kms away from Chalakudy railway station. The centre started on 15th August, 2005 with 5 cerebral palsied children and is registered under charitable societies act XII of 1995 and its Reg. No. is 209/05.
In the Year 2003 at the invitation of Rev. Fr. Charles Chungath, three Nirmala Dasi Sisters started service at Sandwanam an old age Home, near Chalakudy Koodapuzha. During this period Rev. Fr. Charles realized the need for having the presence of sisters in the area. The society took initiation to buy 30 cents of land for the service there. So we started construction for a home in the year 2003. Mar James Pazhayattil blessed the Home and sisters started working with 5 inmates. After the family visits and other pastoral services, the sisters experienced the need for a home for the bedridden people. At present 33 cerebral palsied/incurable inmates are looked after there. 8 sisters and our candidates are rendering services for the unfortunate in this home. The inmates totally depend on others for their daily needs such as, taking food, bathing, dressing, cleaning etc.
The heavenly patron of the home is Mother Mary Immaculate and her fest is on August 15th.
They were brought by their own parents or guardians, because of their inability to look after them. After taking many treatments which is of no hope, they become worried and frustrated. Financial difficulty is the main reason for them to seek admission. Secondly, they have no way to take care of the child. Since the society can’t shut their eyes before the responsibility. We, therefore thought of kindling a light in the lives of these children whose fate are to be lived in between 4 legs of their cot.
The aim of the centre is to give due acceptance and respect to the children with cerebral palsy and/or multiple handicaps/terminally ill through appropriate serve and care.
At present, there are 28 children who are totally bedridden (14 boys and 14 girls) admitted in the home.Young children with multiple disabilities/cerebral palsy have unique needs and challenges. Impairments may occur in cognition, motor, and sensory functions and occur in combination with each other. Many of these young children struggle to communicate their wants and needs, to freely move their body to access and engage their world, and to learn abstract concepts and ideas. In addition, however, these young children are a widely heterogeneous group in terms of their characteristics, capabilities, and learning needs.
We are given total support for their activities of daily living by 10 Sisters and 4 Ayahs. They have to be helped for feeding, dressing, toileting and grooming. For giving them the best and appropriate training included a time scheduled programme which includes:- medical, physical, learning, and social emotional needs.
Medical Needs:- Young children with multiple disabilities often have chronic health needs that may require substantial effort to help improve their health. Two full time nurse and one part time doctor render their services for the residents.
Personal Skill Development Programme:- As with all young children, the learning outcomes for young children with multiple disabilities are delayed. To achieve these outcomes, professionals must implement additional supports to provide for a meaningful and individualized curriculum within the context of fully inclusive and natural environments. The ADL (Activities of Daily Living) is the important training given to the residents. Eating, dressing, bathing and grooming are done with the help of trained staff. Very often their dress will be wet because of their inability to control their toilet needs. Each of their developmental activities is supervised by the staff.
Therapies:- Therapies have a great role in the lives of these children.
Physiotherapy: - Young children with multiple disabilities often exhibit motor development delays, which can result in difficulties with mobility, sitting, and standing. Physiotherapy is an important need of these children. A part time physiotherapist is appointed for giving them physiotherapy. There is improvement in children by the regular exercises given by therapist.
Speech Therapy:- Effective communication is as high need area, for young children who have multiple disabilities. Communication intervention could be enhanced through the simultaneous use of unaided systems. The use of natural gestures and nonspeech vocalizations has the practical advantage, in that they do not require access to equipment or other media. Thus they can communicate with their caregivers through facial expressions, natural gestures, and vocalizations long before producing their first words. There is a trained speech therapist who is a part time worker to impart training in speech and language.
Vocational training is also given to the children. The regular training given is stitching, drawing and painting, tablet cover making and making pearl garlands.
Behaviour Modification Tetherapy: - A psychologist is appointed as part time basis and she solves their psychological problems by counseling and behavior modification therapy. It helps the children to reduce their temper tantrums and other behavior problems.
Achievements:- Physical, Mental and Social achievements are noticed through the training given in our center. Their mental age improved a lot through Individual training and socialization; relaxed rigid states of their muscles and joints by the physio-therapy given; improved their receptive and expressive language through speech therapy and the individual care given by the specialized staff.
Challenges:- Since children with multiple disabilities/cerebral palsy have unique needs and challenges, impairments may occur in cognition, motor, and sensory functions and may occur in combination with each other. The main difficulties in their training is the lack/slow improvements and lack of dedicated persons in this field to serve in this mission. Financial challenges are also faced by the management.
Resource Mobilization:- The grant in aid from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Govt. of India, New Delhi, is the main source of fund. The support of many broad minded people and well wishers are our guiding light to go forward on our journey. They open their hearts and hands towards us by their mite which may be money or kind. We are ever grateful to them for their generous gift for these less fortunate ones for the past years. Besides the financial help moral support of the people around us is a great help.
Usually a picnic programme was arranged every year. It was a memorable day in their life. They enjoyed well and were very happy to see the sightseeing. They were much excited and thrilled to see the outside world. There was another chance to them to go out on the occasion of the celebrations of the day for the differently abled children. Among other children from various institutions our children also take part in some cultural programme. The feast of parish Chalakudy, the procession, band and illumination were very much interesting and delighted to them. The celebrations of Easter, Vishu, Onam, Ramsan, Christmas and other local feasts as Pooram, Parish Church feast etc. give them much happiness and joy.
2005-2007 Sr. Agnes Aloor
2007-2008 Sr. Cicily Kallivalappil
2008-2014 Sr. Lilly Nareparambil
2014-2015 Sr. Elsy Chazhoor
2015-2017 Sr. Sheeba Cheru
2017- 2020Sr. Elsy Illickal
2020- Sr. Alice Pazheveettil
2016-2017 Sr. Elsy Chazhoor
2017-2018 Sr. Joicy Karedan
2018- 2020 Sr. Anitha Moyalan