The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences released a report entitled ‘State of the Education Report for India 2019: Children with Disabilities. The report states that in India, 75% of five-year-olds with disabilities and a quarter of children with disabilities (in the age group of 5 to 19 years) do not attend any educational institution. The report states that there are more than 78 lakh children with disabilities in India between 5-19 years, and only 61% of them were attending an educational institution. According to UNESCO, India is home to 8 million children with disabilities, and 45% of them fail to attain literacy.
Akshya Pratisthan is one of the prime institutions in New Delhi that provides inclusive education and caters to children with disabilities and challenges. Their mission is to create an inclusive, barrier free, right-based society, where people with challenges are treated with dignity; in the spirit of equality and social justice so as to enable them live with confidence and dignity.
With a humble beginning in 1987 in a tent, over the last 35 years, Akshya Pratisthan has grown. It now caters to the needs of 400 children. With a holistic approach of providing education, vocational training, medical care and pre-vocational training, they seek to equip the children with skill sets, to develop and face life and its challenges.
Sports and cultural activities are organised regularly to inculcate the spirit of confidence, team building and sharing. Setting up of individual lab facilities for language, computer education and science have helped children in developing technical skills. Education is made accessible to children with challenges through the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS); Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
Apart from the curriculum, Akshya Pratisthan has found profound success as a centre of excellence, for various vocational activities. The areas of training include tailoring, computer applications, electrical work and appliance repairing, yoga and arts and crafts. In recognition of their work they have received a number of awards, including the prestigious National Award for the Best Institute for Rehabilitation, awarded by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 1999, and the National award in recognition of meritorious services rendered for welfare of children, awarded by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2017.
In continuance with the support given in the last financial year, Samatvam Trust has committed a sum of Rs 5 lakhs to Akshya Pratisthan in the financial year 2022-2023.