Utilizing Rs 80000 of Her Financial savings, Lady Brings Training to Disabled Children
S.Uganya Kandasamy, from Triplicane, Tamil Nadu, was a child when her father prevented her from pursuing higher education.
“My father was a fisherman and had no financial means to finance my education. He also believed that women shouldn’t be highly educated. I still remember his words, ”the 36-year-old told The Better India.
Suganya says that was then when she decided to study to the best of her ability and become independent. “The hardships I experienced in my childhood always made me feel terrible about the plight of children from financially weak families. Like me, they had no access to education, ”she says.
Today she has multiple qualifications including a degree in special education and her Masters degree in science, psychology, audiology and speech pathology. She also specializes in intellectual skills, speech therapy and counseling.
“My desire to help those in need led me to strive and achieve the qualifications required,” she says.
Teach disabled people free of charge
Suganya started working with an NGO in 2010 that went to disabled children for treatment. “During my first lesson, I realized that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life,” she says.
“Children from disadvantaged backgrounds have neither the access nor the means to develop their cognitive skills. Parents do not know that they are providing facilities for their children. This is what makes the children suffer the most, as their needs are not taken into account, ”she explains.
Suganya says the social stigma and misunderstandings about medical conditions add to the hindrance to children’s growth in the early years. In addition, access to education for a child with special needs is expensive and the disadvantaged cannot afford it, she adds.
She says she acquired the required academic skills and sign language while working for the NGO. It made her confident to start her own center in 2014 called the Challenge Rehab Center.
“My father died in 2014, after which I quit my job and decided to devote myself to the matter. My mother was extremely against it and didn’t offer any support. So I used Rs 80,000 of my savings on my wedding to start the center, ”Suganya adds.
She has helped around 40 children with special needs through therapy courses and special education. Suganya also conducts free consultations for parents and school teachers.
Suganya mainly welcomes students with Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Learning Disabilities, Down Syndrome, Hearing Impairment, and Low Vision.
“I charge 200 rupees per session, as opposed to the fees charged by experts in the field which are between 1,000 and 1,200 rupees. Sometimes I don’t charge families who can’t afford it, ”she says.
Watch special children take hands-on lessons in central Suganya
Suganya adds that her efforts over the years have helped children attend inclusive schools and live comfortably. “They speak well with improved motor skills and can attend private school classes,” she says.
Mohammed, one of the parents of an autistic child from Chennai, says, “My son has autism and did not speak or react while we were trying to communicate with him or even socialize with him. My wife and I were desperately looking for experts to deal with his problems. But most of them followed a common pattern and charged exorbitant fees. “
He says he learned about Suganya’s center and came across it in 2019. “My son was 3.5 years old at the time. He has improved over the months. He now responds to our calls, understands names and recognizes his parents. Suganya goes out of her way to ensure that your child improves to the best of their ability. She also adapts modules to improve skills. There is an obvious improvement in our child, ”added Mohammed.
Suganya says her journey has been full of struggles, despite making children’s lives better, despite satisfying them. “After five years, my mother has finally accepted that I am working for this social cause. I was alone for the first few days and had no support from relatives or friends. Even carpenters and electricians refused to work during the construction of the institute. I did the tiny and big jobs that were needed single-handedly, ”says Suganya.
Suganya says that people’s perception of her has changed positively over the years and they are proud of what they do.
Her goal is to found a vocational training center and enable as many children as possible to have a good life. “Many parents often express concern about their child’s future. The center would ensure that the children learn life skills for a living and lead independent lives, ”she adds.
To learn more about Suganya Center, you can contact them at 9884385869.
Edited by Yoshita Rao