DNA Page15 29Dec2015

DNA of Education - 15 FOR CHANGE

Gharkul, since 2007

Working in: Santacruz (E)

Started by: Sunil Satpute

Raison d’etre: Rehabilitating, educating and enabling less-privileged kids with special needs so they can lead a dignified, independent life

USP: Works with children who are severely, mentally challenged and accepts kids who are not toilet-trained (an often neglected section of the special needs community)

Impact: 2 classrooms, 5 special educators, 47 kids

Future Vision: To accommodate new kids and retain the old ones

Story So Far: As part of the Baljeevan Trust, Sunil Satpute always knew a thing or two about tending to children without means. Gharkul (home), however, saw him push his boundaries and take on responsibilities that can be a handful, even for the most seasoned educators. He turned towards kids, who are not just poor, but also born with special needs like autism, Down’s Syndrome etc. Hence, education start from basic things such as eye contact, social interaction and toilet training. “I teach a bunch of these kids in rented rooms of the Prabhat Colony Municipal School in Santacruz (E). These are kids who are often abandoned by their families. “Those with mild and moderate challenges often find admission elsewhere, I make it a point to admit the rest,” says Sunil, adding that space continues to be a major issue. What do these kids learn at their new ‘home’? “Oh everything, from english, maths and vocational skills to art and craft, or simply home management,” Sunil states proudly.

Lend a Hand: gharkul.org / 9833736200