An initial reading of a government survey done in 2011 showed that around 90 lakh people now live in slums as compared to the 60 lakh recorded in the 2001 Census.
With limited access to official civic amenities, sanitation and health facilities are dismal and the infant mortality rate is high. People in these areas depend on health services provided by non-profit organisations.
Concern India Foundation is one such organisation that supports a health initiative in the densely populated and economically low level slum area of Bandra East in Mumbai.
There are three clinics in three different slum areas which operate on certain specific days of the week. In each clinic, a qualified doctor and a pharmacist attend to over 1,000 families and offer low cost health services at community level. This team is further assisted by two community health workers.
“These clinics are far more easily accessible than state run and private hospitals. Also, it is far more affordable as the charges are very nominal, often ranging from Rs 5 – 10 per visit,” informs Dr Ojha, who supervises the centre.
He also tells us about the initial days of the programme and the many challenges they faced then, “The population is mainly uneducated and conservative in outlook. The concept of family planning and sanitation was just not there. In fact, I remember at one time this one couple had 8 children!”
The programme has slowly established its credibility and gained the trust of the community. The programme identifies women from within the community who are receptive to development and imparts a three-month training session as a social health worker. The social health workers go on door – to – door visits, creating awareness about sanitation and its effect on health. They urge community members to go for check – ups with special focus on pregnant women and new mothers for clinical deliveries and child care.
In an ever growing population the need to reach out to many more is a constant endeavour.
– Ameeta Munshi, Resource Mobiliser, Concern India Foundation (Mumbai)
" HGS is pleased to associate with Concern India Foundation for funding the special needs of individuals with Down's Syndrome. The programme trains them for jobs that match their strongest skills."
An exclusive programme supported by Concern India Foundation in Bengaluru works with individuals suffering from Down Syndrome.
The programme offers special education, speech therapy, physiotherapy, vocational skill training and computer skill training to enable the individual become independent and to be mainstreamed in the society.
The programme identifies students who have completed special education from different special schools to the expanded vocational unit. Depending on their abilities and capabilities, appropriate skills training is offered to create employment opportunities for the trainees. The skills are assessed at a quarterly basis to measure the progress level of each individual.
HGS, a leading Business Process Management Company has been supporting this programme. They are even ran at the TCS World 10K marathon, held on 17th May, to raise funds for it.
“HGS is pleased to associate with Concern India Foundation for funding the special needs of individuals with Down Syndrome. With proper and personalised guidance, these individuals can learn all the life skills and lead a normal life. The programme evaluates their strengths and trains them for jobs that match their strongest skills. This helps them to become independent and reach their full potential. I believe that, with proper training for the right job, autistic individuals can become really productive employees,” said Anthony Joseph, Executive Vice President – Global Human Resources and CSR, about their association with this special programme.
This is one the 270 grassroots programmes supported by Concern India Foundation across India.
SPLASH – a fun day of activities was organised on 31st March, 2015 at Sanskriti Kendra, Anandram – Gurgaon by Secure Giving for children with special needs.
Held in aid of Concern India Foundation and supported by Sentiss, SPLASH supports and encourages artistic ability of underprivileged children and provides them with a platform to showcase their creativity and imagination.
Children express themselves through art on a fundamental level. Sometimes their artwork is the manifestation of that expression, but more often, the physical process of creating is the expression. More than 200 children from 12 different NGOs with learning disabilities participated in drawing, singing, painting and clay-moulding throughout the day.
“It’s a very good idea of entertaining and engaging the children with special needs. These children like a variety of activities that they are exposed to.” explained Vijay Pal from one of the participating NGOs.
“Music therapy is based on the premise that despite any disability, the ability to respond to music remains unimpaired. This is one form that gets an immediate response from everyone. Responding in a group that creates music together brings forth a sense of connectedness, belonging and joy among those participating. It was exciting to see children respond to the oneness.” said Stuti Chandhok, the music therapist who took a session with the children.
“Art activities for children with special needs not only enhance their abilities but also sharpen their minds. Engaging in such activities expands a child’s ability to interact with the world around them, and provides a new set of skills for self-expression and communication. SPLASH provides a platform to engage their young minds and promote important skills that benefit a child’s development,” said Nidhi Singh, Director, Concern India Foundation.
Concern India Foundation has been working in the areas of education, community development and health for over 24 years now. Today they support 270 grassroots programmes reaching out to over 1,60,000 marginalised people through their offices in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune.
– Communications Team, Concern India Foundation (Delhi)
We recently visited one of our supported vocational training programmes for the convocation ceremony of their first batch of students. The centre is located in Delhi’s Badarpur area and offers a 3 – month training course to young men and women. It consists of three classrooms and one. The first batch consisted of approximately 30 students.
The skill and vocational training that is given in the centre had made the participating youth more confident about what direction to pursue in life. During the ceremony the students were also asked to share their personal experiences from their training period. It was really moving to see how a little bit of sharing and guidance could make such a huge difference to somebody’s life.
The youth seemed to have developed a great bond with the team – which showed how involved the whole process was.
Those who had already been recruited from the batch shared their stories with others in a very motivating way.
It was an enriching experience for all of us. Every student’s story looked like a success story!
– Aahana Dhar, Communications Team, Concern India Foundation (Delhi)