Vallabhdas Dagara Indian Society (VDIS) is the school for mentally challenged children in Mumbai. This school is one of the best for the mentally challenged children.
Dr. A.V. Mehta the founder and director of the school has established VDIS in the year 1973. Today nearly four decades have passed and VDIS is achieving new heights each and every day with over 8200 children being benefited by VDIS. The little candle that was lit has become the guiding force to many mentally challenged children and their parents.
The success of VDIS is attributed to a very dedicated staff working hard under the able leadership of Dr. Hemlata Dhoot, with all their love and care to enrich the lives of these children.
The training programme from daily living activities to vocational rehabilitation are given in this institute. Mentally challenged children having any of the concerns like cerebral palsy, vision problem, hearing problem or any other mental illness are accepted by the institution. Facilities for special training of these children are available to teach them and make them capable and educated by special teachers and staff. Infant to adult all are welcomed and benefited by various services in this institute.
Besides, training and teaching, psychological assessment and counseling of students is done here on regular basis. Mental retardation can be caused by any condition which impairs the development of the brain before birth or in the childhood years or sometimes during adulthood due to some accident or illness.
To understand a child’s problem one must detect the early signs of mal-adaptiveness, his strengths, weaknesses and stage of development. Various psychological tests are used to assess and test the children. Around 180 new cases are registered in all school students every year. Around 250 school children were assessed from Jan 2014 to Dec 2015.
There are about 500 students taking benefit on a daily basis. The students are divided into classes according to their degree of retardation and chronological age. Various units are conducted to provide various services. Specially trained teachers and dedicated staff is working actively to provide different training programmes to different types of students based on their requirements. It is amazing to know that trained students of VDIS have been placed at various jobs and have become active members of family and society. Few students of VDISMR have participated in national, international sports and games and won gold medals and shields for India.
The most wonderful thing is that all the students are very creative in their own way. Some are very good dancers and some are very good singers. They make outstanding handicraft items like diyas and candles. It is well said that each and every child is special in their own way. They just need some support and lots of love to full fill their own dreams which can be seen in VDIS.
There are many institutes working for providing knowledge and education for specially-abled children across India but VDIS is making incredible efforts to impart knowledge and better living for mentally challenged children. Besides generous founders and management, staff and teachers are the most important pillars of strength for VDIS. Also, common people are supporting VDIS by generously donating or sponsoring a child’s education or by purchasing their festive requirement from these students which not only supports them financially but also motivates these students a lot.