children with disabilities, Community action, special needs groups

Compassion & Dedication: A Day Care Centre in Nilgiris



In a village called Aravenu on the outskirts of Kotagiri in Nilgiris, is a small 2 room day care center run by a lorry driver Shanmugam and his son Jeeva Kumar.  Shanmugam’s 8 year old son, De Silva,  died of Down Syndrome in 2008 and he pledged to provide basic day care facilities to all children of the neighbouring villages who were suffering from disabilities like Down, Autism, muscular dystrophy, etc.  From his meagre salary as a lorry driver and the earning of his wife, who is  a tea leaf picker, he has been running this Center for the past 6 years.   Against all odds and absolutely  no support from any governmental or non-governmental agency, Shanmugam and his family have provided  day care for upto 23 children with special disabilities



 I had the opportunity to visit the Centre thrice over the past 2 years and found exceptional dedication and commitment in the family to keep this facility going.  I visited the homes of some of the children and learnt that if this day Care Centre was not there, parents (mostly landles  labourers) had no option but to lock their children in rooms as they left to earn their daily wages. Jeeva Kumar took me to 2 homes where children were tied down with ropes for over 8-10 hours daily.

I am pleased to share with you that One Earth Foundation, under its Umeed initiative has committed to provide regular support to this day care Centre.  We will also help the Centre identify and pay for a full time  nurse.  Regular visits by physiotherapists are also being reviewed.

On behalf of the Shanmugam family and all children that visit this Centre, I thank all supporters and sponsors of One Earth Foundation.  Without your support and guidance this would not be possible.  Thank You

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