KOCHI: A life dedicated to the differently-abled children. This is what the Kozhikode-based Sainaba has been doing all these 26 years. She has been giving training sessions to differently-abled children so that they too can lead a normal life.
But it all began rather accidentally. Sainaba had studied electronics. But one day, she went to a children’s home to give speech training classes as a teacher. Slowly, she was able to relate to these children, who suffered from autism, speech problems and hearing impairment. Soon, she started spending more time with them.
“When I came to the special school, I was not sure whether I would be able to do this as I was from an electronics background,” says Sainaba, who belongs to a middle-class family. “But then I saw some improvement in the children after a few classes. This gave me confidence. I felt that if they received more training sessions they will become independent and get jobs.”
Sometime ago, she set up her charitable trust ‘We Smile’. About 40 students, above 18 years of age, are members. They are given training sessions in speech and sign language by 12 teachers. Sainaba is very happy with the response that she has received so far. “I am able to understand each child now: how the child feels and what he or she wants,” she says. “This gives me happiness. “
Besides speech sessions, the children are also given training in gardening, weaving, and welding. “As these children are often not accepted by society, the possibility of them getting jobs is less,” says Sainaba. “So, we give them training in computer, handicraft making, weaving cloth bags, packing and even making umbrellas.”
They have camps and participate in campaigns so that they can socialise with other people. It has just been four months since this new activity has been added to their curriculum but already a lot of improvement can be seen. “The children have become confident and have a dream to get a job,” she says. “The best change is that they are coming and going to the school all by themselves.”
Sainaba intends to carry on working for the differently-abled children. “There are many children who are autistic and there can be many reasons for it,” she says. “I want to conduct training sessions for the parents so that an awareness is created in society so that the child doesn’t suffer. Within a year, I want to work towards the complete development of the child.”