CHENNAI : It isn’t unusual to find start-ups in the IT sector. However, the ones associated with wellness, especially those that focus on developmental disorders in children, are few. Mom’s Belief, a Singaporebased start-up, was launched by New Delhi-based Nitin Bindlish in 2018 with an aim to empower the parents of special needs children so they can act as a co-therapist for their child. “We focus on developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities, intellectual disability, Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy.
We provide clinical guidance to parents and send resources to their home in a subscription-based model that uses commonly-used technology platforms to connect a dedicated child psychologist with the parents, even across great distances,” he said. Mom’s Belief also supports professionals who work with children with special needs in schools, therapy centres, clinics and hospitals.
“We believe it is critical for parents to be engaged in giving support for their special needs child because this leads to better and longer-lasting outcomes. In larger cities, parents may have access to professionals such as child psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and special educators who can help their child. But these professionals typically don’t teach parents how they can help their child at home,” he said. According to him, this is a missed opportunity, as research shows when given the right guidance and resources, parents can have a huge impact on their child’s development. “In areas thatdon’t have enough clinical professionals and programmes for children with special needs, our support becomes even more important.
We recognise that while parents can achieve a lot with their child if they have the right support, their lives will be made much easier if the schools and medical centres in their communities are also enabled to care for their special needs children,” said Nitin. “We were invited to the United Nations in February to present our innovation as a winner of the Zero Project Award, which identifies scalable solutions that eliminate barriers for the disabled,” he said.
Mom’s Belief was b o o t - s t r a p p e d during its research phase. “Post-operation activation and one million US dollars in funding were provided by HNIs, friends and family. Since launching our programmes in early 2018, we have supported over 1,400 families in 114 cities across India and in five international locations,” he said. Even though Mom’s Belief is registered in Singapore, its operations are based in India. “We are expanding to GCC markets such as UAE and will launch operations in Singapore in the next few months,” he said.
Nitin knew clinical guidance and basic training and mentoring could be delivered to parents using comm o n l y available technology platforms. “Customised resources could then be provided to help parents apply this knowledge and training to achieve the developmental goals they’ve identified for their child. This would not only address the needs of families in smaller cities and rural areas who lack access to support but for parents who have access to professionals and resources for their child, it would give them a way to reinforce the therapy their child receives at school or in a therapy centre,” he said.
In India, the home-based model costs approximately 30 per cent of regular therapy sessions, making it a more affordable option for middleclass families. Mom’s Belief is a social enterprise. “But profits are not our objective. Our mission is to reach a million families in the next 10 years to improve their lives and to ensure that their children receive the help they need to fulfil their potential,” he added.