Special School for the Mentally Challenged Children.
Residential Home for the Intellectually Disabled
Madonna is a charitable society. It runs a special school cum residential home representing the persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, irrespective of caste or creed, colour or sex, region or religion, atheist or agnostic or pecuniary status. It was founded at Potta, Kerala on 31st January 1986 by Rev. Sr. Rubina CMC and managed by the Congregation of Mother of Carmel (CMC) Udaya Province, within the territory of the Diocese of Irinjalakuda, Trissur District, Kerala, India. (photos)
We are convinced and we do firmly believe that it is our divine duty to do our best for creating a better, happier and richer world for our mentally retarded brethren. When a child has a significantly sub-average intellectual functioning existing concurrently with related impaired limitations in two or more areas of skills such as communication, health care, home living, social skills, community, self-direction, health and safety, functional, academic leisure and work (usually these manifest before the age of 18).
Furthermore, there is an urgent need to change the attitude of the public at the disabled persons. Intellectually disabled people are not ‘abnormal.’ They are not to be treated with fear or ridicule. They are not ‘unproductive!’ They are not unfit for job market! But, “These are the proper subjects of education. They can be taught to do some kind of labor and they can be made self-sufficient,” as Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe points out. We, with 32 years of experience and full involvement with them, have proved that we can work wonders if their special abilities are tapped properly, systematically and through shared attention.
An estimated 2-3% of Indian population is mentally handicapped. A random survey conducted by us within a radius of fifteen kilometers around our locality brought to light the shocking fact that there are more than three hundred mentally challenged persons, which include mental retardation (intellectual disability), autism, cerebral palsy, hearing impaired, visually impaired, multiple disabilities and mental illness. Many of them are children. Until a few decades back, nothing serious had been done for the special education of these vulnerable children. Hence, we, the Carmelite Sisters under the leadership of Rev. Sr. Rubina decided to venture into the relatively new area namely the training and rehabilitation of the mentally challenged, our most unfortunate brethren. Like all other human beings, the intellectually disabled are also endowed with potentialities of one kind or other.
Madonna is thus a registered Charitable Society with its proper Executive Committee and Managing Committee and is recognized and partly supported by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, New Delhi. Madonna imparts free special education facilities to the children. Our children play, laugh, learn and pray in a very pleasant and stimulating environment which promotes their integral development.
To make the mentally challenged children useful and proud citizens of our Motherland enabling them to earn their own livelihood as much as possible.
Maximum Independence and Minimum Dependence.
Madonna staff consists of a Principal, ten special teachers, a warden, a vocational instructor, an accountant, four ayahs, a sweeper, a cook and two drivers. (photos)
Children between the age of 5 to 15 are eligible for admission to our Centre. First of all, a child has to get District Medical Board Certificate regarding its IQ (specifying the percentage of disability). Then the child is admitted to a class according its IQ level. A teacher assesses the child and makes an IEP (Individualized Education Programme). The IEP is re-assessed every semester.