Goa will be soon getting its first vocational-cum-residential facility for children and young adults with intellectual disabilities. The state government has allocated a plot of land at Corlim in Mapusa to an NGO called Aastha’s Anand Niketan society on long term lease to build this special facility. Interestingly, this plot is the same site where the old government-run de-addiction centre used to operate from. “The NGO has been given four years to construct the facility”, the society’s president and state commissioner for disabilities, Mr. Guru Pawaskar was quoted as saying. “The concerned government departments have given a green signal to our plans by issuing the construction licence for this facility”, he added.
The intellectual disabilities facility will take care of children and young adults who have lost a parent or both parents. ”Siblings usually don’t take care of such kinds of children, and for many parents, this is a major worry. With developments in medicine, the lifespan of these children has increased and they are outliving their parents”, he said. Due to the absence of such a facility in Goa, several families have had to admit their wards to institutions in other states. “When they’re outside the state, they get disconnected from their families. When the centre comes up, they will have the opportunity of going home to their families during holidays or on weekends. The facility will also have rooms where parents can stay with their ward., especially if they are travelling to the centre from a far off place”, Pawaskar said.
Aastha’s Anand Niketan society is a Non-Profit voluntary organisation based in Mapusa that works towards the purpose of providing compassionate service to the mentally challenged , disabled, autistic and under-privileged children and young adults in Goa. The acute need and yearning of numerous special children and their parents in Goa touched a few individuals who joined hands to form the Aastha Society and consequently, Anand Niketan, the school for special children came into being at Mapusa in June 2011.
The society provides a number of services for children with intellectual disabilities including Special Education and training , Physiotherapy, physical education and Speech Therapy.they also run a non residential vocational training centre for differently abled individuals who are 18 years and above.