CHAITHANYA Developmental Training Institute for Special Children is a charitable Institution located in Kallekkad, Palakkad, Kerala, India that imparts developmental training to children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as cerebral palsy, autism, Down’s syndrome, ADHD, mental retardation and other learning/developmental deficiencies (Special Children). Chaithanya is a day school that operates between 10 am to 3 pm from Monday through Friday.
Since its humble inception by the Chatihanay Charitable Trust in May, 2002 with just four students, today 145 children are enrolled, most from very poor financial background. In addition to training the Special Children, Chaithnaya supports needy families financially by prvoding rice, medicines, uniforms, transportation etc. Generous support from local civic organisations such as the Lions Club and the Rotary Club as well as business corporationsand Banks have enabled the purchase of wheel chairs and other adaptive equipments. M/s Rubfilla International limited has donated a 20 seater school bus that is used daily to transport children who are unable to use other forms of transportation. Local surgeons have generously provided free corrective surgeries to nearly twenty children enabling most of them to walk. Local physicians and dentists also perform cost-free services for the children. Most of the children of Chaithanya have shown significant improvement; for instance, 30 Chaithanya children have been sent to mainstream schools. Many children have passed 4th std, 7th std., and 10th std. administered under the aegis of National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). Chaithanya receives partial grant support from the Government of Kerala for staff salaries. However our main funding source for overall operations comes through donations from philanthropic individuals and charitable organisations. Donations to Chaithanya are exempt from Indian Income Tax Act under section 80G. Chaithanya has also been approved by the Government of India to accept foreign remittances under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).
Chaithanya’s mission is to provide social, academic, life-skill training to the Special Children through vocational programmes and therapeutic interventions involving the School staff and parents. Chaithanya espouses a transdisciplinary team approach to prepare the children to adapt to varying environments with independence and confidence.
Chaithanya’s vision is the holistic development of Special Children to enable them towards a life of independence.
Chaithanya is the only school for Special Children in Palakkad district which promotes early identification and intervention programmes, and the advancement of these children into the main stream. Chaithanya staff is also engaged in creating awareness of the needs of such children among social workers, school teachers, college students, and society as a whole. Through awareness camps, Chaithanya staff reaches out to children in the rural areas, and involves the parents in counselling regarding the child’s developmental training needs.
The low teacher-student ratio (1:8) further enables the holistic development of the child by providing crucial undivided attention. The programmes are tailored to meet the needs of each child. Parents, usually mothers, are included in the training process, and if appropriately qualified, are also employed as teachers/support staff at Chaithanya.