I entered a two storeyed building with the administration office on the first floor and an equipment/aids room on the ground floor. I was greeted at a table with a grill bar on it. A sign said ‘Bank’on the grill bar with two open windows. I was curious to see what was happening behind this grill bar. There were two chairs with two mentally retarded individuals. To the left was another grill bar with chips, chocolates etc.on it. My confusion was cleared when Narayan Reddy told me that they were conducting a banking session. Students were learning the responsibility of handling money and managerial skills. Students get a token which they deposited in the’Bank’. They would then take what they required from the grocery store.
I was impressed by the children, who participated actively and with enthusiasm. Reddy then walked me through the whole builiding. This organization stands apart from others with its commitment to service for the deaf and blind. UETS is among the few organizations in the world who serve this category of disability. The use of a sensory room assisted these special needs children and helped them to deal with their daily lives independently. They also have a vocational training unit where paper plates are made and sold.
The residential unit consists of 50 boys and 3 girls on the first floor who are constantly monitored by care takers and fed well by the cooks. The aids room manufactures callipers, tricycles etc. and gives these to the people from their Community Rehabilitation Program. They also conduct camps and awareness programs in the villages surrounding Kakinada. “In rural places, once a girl attains puberty, she is married. She has to bear a child being a kid herself. This leads to premature birth and M.R. We started conducting camps to attend to this immediate cause. Slowly, we could reach many and spread the word.”
Since its inception, UETS has been involved in many meaningful years of service to people in need. It has now completed its 25th year of dedicated service. This society is always in the forefront of providing comprehensive rehabilitation services to the people in and around Kakinada.