by Rohini Vemuganti
Taking care of Madurai’s disabled
It was a ten-minute drive from my accommodation to Arapalayam where JK MAASS has its centre – a small, one-level building with a big hall and one room in a corner. The hall was separated into three sections by cardboard sheets. One section is for children with IQs below 50. The second section is for children who have shown progress or have IQs above 60. The third is for the children who can are able to undergo vocational training.
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How it all began
On obtaining a degree in Physiotherapy, Mr. Sudhakaran, the founder of JK MAASS started working at a multi-specialty hospital. Most of his patients were mentally and physically disabled children. He served them relentlessly for ten years. It was during his tenure at the hospital that he understood fully the disparity between the rich and the poor. Children of well-to-do parents could afford treatment while those from poor families simply could not. When he resigned his post as a Physiotherapist, he started his own clinic at Madurai where he began to attend to the poor.