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Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a charitable school for differently-abled

With a vision to enable the disabled, WAVE Group established Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN), for the differently-abled children. An initiative of Late Mr. Ponty Chadha, the institution was founded in 1999, with a special endeavour to educate special children to live within the community. Mr. Chadha established this school with intent to form a ground where the children with special needs could grow without any realization of the barriers.
Spread over 1 acre, Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan is the largest rehabilitation charitable institution in India, providing free of cost rehabilitation services in a friendly and empathetic environment to over 1000 beneficiaries with different disabilities.
What makes MBCN the best school for special kids?
The school trains children with special needs to develop required skills to be a productive member of the community. We start providing required services from early intervention through therapies and skill training leading to vocational rehabilitation of the child. The school also provides orthotic aids, hearing aids and other medical treatment for needy students free of cost.
The co-curricular and class activities at the school are scheduled for the batches in a specially modulated manner keeping in mind their limitations and focussing using the children’s strengths. It instils a belief in every child that he or she is gifted and not deprived. Since most of teachers in the school are parents of differently-abled children, care and being considerate comes automatically. Even the support staff on board understands every child’s needs and limitations and helps accordingly. Their tireless support and patient demeanour have together made the school a loved place for the children and parents alike.
The school also provides vocational training to students and gives them suitable employment. In order to make the vocational trainees economically independent, we are running a sheltered workshop under the Swayam programme where the children make eco-friendly paper products under supervision of rehabilitation professionals and the profit earned by the products sales is equally divided as stipend among them every month.
New initiatives at the school
The school recently launched a shopping portal, integrated with its website (www.mbcnschool.org), which allows customers to buy hand-made products made by the special children of the school. The handmade products includes wedding gifts, packaging items, office stationery, paper bags and other gift products which are now available online for sale. In addition to that, the school also provides open employment opportunities for adults with disabilities if they have ability to work independently.
We, at MBCN, have also has been using latest assistive technology to improve expression in conditions having impairment in communication. They have developed an android application Vaakya which can be used as a very effective and useful tool for alternative augmentative communication. Vaakya is a picture based AAC app designed for people who are speech impaired. This may be in the case of aphasia, MND/ALS, after a stroke, in case of vocal cord problems or other speech problems. It is also suitable for individuals affected by autism, cerebral palsy and various other mental and physical conditions. The app is an AAC (Augmentative and alternative communication) tool and can also be used to practice during rehabilitation. Even for individuals in such conditions that are unable to read, it works as an effective tool to communicate as it depends on images and speech instead of text.
In future, we plan to develop training modules and assistive technology to empower parents and professionals who are working for children with special needs.
The school has been acknowledged as a perfect model of a special school. All rehabilitation professionals are being advised by their training institutions to visit MBCN to learn from us. Most established institutions place their trainees in MBCN for internship experiences in different disciplines like social work, special education in different disabilities, physiotherapy, architecture, mass communication, etc.

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