VISHWAS is a popular address in Gurgaon and is known to all. On reaching the school, the first thing that strikes you is a collage of photographs showing the evolution of campus from when it was handed over to the NGO to its current stage.
In keeping with their motto of ‘inclusive education’, VISHWAS has strived to expand the concept of inclusion in every possible dimension in the social context. VISHWAS today has expanded itself to every nook and corner of Gurgaon area and runs a wide range of programs like:
- Adult Programme
- Community Based Programme
- Research and training Center
- The VISHWAS Vidyalaya
With a belief that adults have the right to take control of their life and exercise choices to select their personal preferences, the Adult Programme supports individuals to attain independent living and exposes them to vocational courses like cookery, running shops etc . With the community playing a major role in ensuring inclusive and equal opportunities, the community based programme educates the disabled about their rights and entitlements and enhances opportunities for their education, health, and skill development. While inclusive education is on the agenda of government education programmes, not many people are aware about the inclusive practices in schools.
The Vidyalaya is a recognised Elementary School till Class 8th where all children study together – including children with special needs in the age group of 5-14 years. It follows a well-balanced NCERT curriculum mixed with utility based learning, teaching and learning materials. It also takes care of physical therapy needs of students with special needs. Says Neelam, “Children who cannot cope with academics and have cognitive impairment have been separated into Transition Group after 14 years of age. These groups help in basic Math, use of Hindi words in daily life. For example, we teach them how to make fruit juice; in the process they learn about the amount of sugar and water to be added which in turn polishes their Math skills. We make them run a stationery store within the campus which teaches them responsibility and financial management.”
VISHWAS also has a rehabilitation center which gives these children with special needs physiotherapy every day.
“Any organization will grow only if the staff is trained and the needs are looked after to deliver a better product,” she adds. Vishwas has collaborated with The Bharti Foundation to develop inclusive kits for untrained teachers. This kit consists of methodologies to cater to children with special needs as well as normal students. It guides them on how to make lesson plans, reading materials, and also gives them clarity about inclusive education.
From reaching the unreached to creating a platform of equality amongst the disabled, VISHWAS has been a trend setter for Inclusive Education today in their locality.