Gharkul’s work began in 2006 to provide education to children from the lower socio economic groups. In the process the team at Gharkul identified an alarming number of children with special needs who were neglected and doubly disadvantaged due to lack of parent awareness about their needs, social stigma and poor financial access to special education and therapy. Gharkul’s program was therefore birthed in February of 2007 and designed to give these children an opportunity for a brighter future.
Gharkul was founded by Sunil Satpute, a Social Worker who has been working with children from lower income groups and street children street children since 1993. He observed that the children with special needs that he came across were denied their right to an education due to parental lack of awareness and their inability to afford the fees for special education.
Convinced that the need for a facility to provide special education to children from lower income groups was both urgent and important, Sunil started a day-care center for children with special needs in 2007. Gharkul thus comprised of a group of 8 enrolled children with special needs from slum communities in Santacruz, a location in the Suburbs of Mumbai.
In those initial days, all Gharkul had was a strong will to improve the lives of special children. It was not long before help poured in, friends generously gave whatever they knew could be of use. They sponsored various facilities like food, stationery, medical aid, uniforms, bags, and shoes making the Gharkul dream a reality.
Gharkul has been and still is a joint effort towards improving the lives of children with special needs and their families.