Prayas Society

Partner From
04/01/2016 - On Going

http://www.prayasjaipur.com/about.html


Supported by: Wipro Cares

About PRAYAS
PRAYAS means an ‘endeavor’. It was founded on the recognition that something must be ‘done’. PRAYAS started its fight for human dignity to combat the desolate conditions and social stigmas that disabled and underprivileged children are subjected to all too often. In a nutshell, the work of PRAYAS is to help enable even the most marginalized child to create their own independent identity, showcase their talents and to be an inspiration to many. PRAYAS works in the field of Disability, Integrated Education and facilitation of Inclusive Education through its 4 Schools and other projects. The approach to child intervention, education and vocational training is holistic and the parents, families, and community are all included in this journey.

The Approach

PRAYAS believes in Education for All. Education is a means to empower, a great equaliser and a powerful tool for social and economic progress. PRAYAS thus focuses on providing basic education to underprivileged and special needs children, thereby streamlining them to mainstream living. Opening classroom doors to all children, especially girls, helps break the shackles of poverty, because education is intrinsically linked to all development.

Since 1996, PRAYAS has been working to make lives better for CWSN (children with special needs) and other slum children. What started as an innovative approach towards inclusive and integrated education has today become a trendsetter in progressive education. At present, apart from other projects, we are running one special school in Jhalana Institutional Area and three integrated schools in the kutchi bastees of Jaipur in Raja Park, Sanganer and Amagarh. Our main objective is to reach out to maximum number of disadvantaged children.

The PRAYAS teachers and community team in the 55 communities that we work in receive annual door-to-door surveys. Non-school going CWSN and children are identified. Their parents are counseled and helped in admitting the children to a PRAYAS school /government school or private school of the area/PRAYAS home-based program, if the child is unable to come to school due to their severe category of disability. A team comprising of a special educator, physiotherapist and psychologist assesses the special needs child and recommend where he should be admitted and what level of intervention he needs.

Location

55 Underprivileged Communities in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

In the unprecedented COVID situation, schools have been closed and the special needs children are at home. Most of our children come from underprivileged backgrounds, have uneducated parents, live in cramped accommodation in crowded areas of the walled city. They all belong to the vulnerable group.

  • With special-needs children staying at home, this has created an additional and unique burden on parents, who are already stressed by other livelihood challenges.
  • Although parents are mostly aware of the risk, some of them do not take it seriously. Their large family size, limited space, and closely-knit houses make it difficult for them to practice social distancing.
  • Some children are reactive and prone to mood swings. Many of them have other issues due to growing age and need meaningful engagement and energy channelizing which is not possible/not being done at home. Even for the others, restricting them to the house or making them understand the need to stay at home is tough, if not impossible.
  • Some of them have physical dependence on others, so it becomes challenging for the parents to restrict their own exposure also.
  • Due to poor retention and memory, this gap in schooling makes their path regressive.
  • The parent of one of our special needs student of Raja Park School, Mr. Mubarak Hussain, is responsible for ignoring quarantine instructions after returning from Oman and individually infecting 500 persons in Ramganj directly and through family and friends. Thankfully, PRAYAS staff was not infected although he visited school two days after his return.
  • Our Community mobiliser, Kunj Behari, residing in Ramganj, lost his 67-year-old mother a fortnight ago. She had availed medical services for three days in the SMS general hospital and was found positive after her demise. His entire family is in the quarantine center.
  • All our plans to mainstream some children in jobs will also need to be shelved temporarily because the employment market is so uncertain; more so for this sector.