Mentally disabled children take vocational training in Orissa

November 14th, 2007 - 2:54 am ICT by admin  
Korapur (Orissa), Oct.26 (ANI): At least 56 children with various mental-disabilities are taking vocational training at a special centre in Orissa’s Koraput to be self-reliant and prove wrong those who doubted their potential.

At the Manas Education and Vocational Training Centre for the Mentally Challenged, operated under the aegis of Koraput district administration since 2001, training is imparted to children between 6 to 18 years of age.

Dinabandhu Daria, a student at the institute, had joined Manas in 2002. He went on to win a gold medal in cricket during Special Olympics held in 2006.

“People in my village used to call me a mad. My condition improved after visiting this place. I learnt to cricket and went to Mumbai for a cricket match. We played against teams from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa. Today, my villagers are very happy to see me. I want to open a tailoring shop,” said Dinabandhu Daria, a student.

Today, Dinabandhu not only plays good cricket, but is also good at tailoring. He stitches nearly dozen mosquito nets everyday.

The institute provides an opportunity to students to develop their hobbies besides attending the inmates for their mental and physical disorders. Student can learn stitching, candle making, spices packing, book-binding and other similar works.

Fourteen of the students at Manas, who had a harrowing time in their immediate society, now are earning a handsome amount of money.

“Here we stitch mosquito nets and sell them in markets. I will take it as a vocation. If I was in my village my life would have been ruined,” said Dinesh Sarika, a student.

According to Bidyadhar Paramanik, Principal of Manas Education and Vocational Training Centre for the Mentally Challenged, the centre is facing financial constraint.

“We have started this school with the objective of looking after such mentally challenged children who are not usually accepted by the society. We gather these children from different villages and provide them with right health treatment and vocational training so as to make them self-sufficient,” Paramanik said.

“Although much is being done by this institution, it is facing financial constraints. The Centre provides 75 per cent funds for this school. The rest is borne by the district administration. We need at least Rs. 65,000 a year, but we get much less,” he said.

Although funds supply is regular but the money doesn’t suffice in updating the facilities at Manas, he added.

Items prepared by the students are marketed by the institution that shares the profit earned with the students. (ANI)

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