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June 29, 2018

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  JAYADEVAN AND CHITRA: PROVIDING CARE FOR 36 AUTISM-AFFECTED CHILDREN
 
Jayadevan and Chitra, Santhwanam, Karapparambu, Kozhikode

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It was 42 days after Arjun was born that an epileptic attack revealed autism and other intellectual deficiencies in him.  Like any other parents, his father and mother were shattered by the fate that had befallen their son.  But  soon resolved to make use of their predicament to serve their son and others like him.  Today they are parents to 36 other children beside Arjun.

Near 6th railway gate at Kozhikode is ‘Santhwanam’, a special school for such children.  When the bombshell of the bodily condition of Arjun was revealed to them, the parents were shattered.  It was then that Jayadevan’s father advised him to look after the child himself.  But for Jayadevan, an employee in a private firm, who was struggling to carry life’s other burdens, it was a tall order.  His father made the initial contribution of a small amount and with that ‘Santhwanam’ took off.

What shatters the parents of such children is the worry about who will look after their special child once they are gone.  This too has been taken care of at ‘Santhwanam’.  Here even after attaining the age of 18, the inmates can stay as long as they want or need.

3 teachers, 3 helpers, 2 therapists and 2 drivers are working for these children.  Speech therapy, psychotherapy and music therapy are provided to them.  The children are provided uniform and food.  No fee is collected from the parents of these children.  The contribution by philanthropists and a small aid by the Government are the financial sources of the centre.  Even then, the monthly expenses would come to Rs.30,000.  That Jayadevan usually manages by availing loans etc.  He doesn’t mind that since it is a centre of solace for their son too.

Though the Jayadevan and Chitra would like to provide better amenities for these children, they are handicapped by limitations of resources. 

 

 

Courtesy: Sreekanth Kottakkal (text), K.B.Satheesh Kumar (photo), Mathrubhumi, November 15, 2015

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