They are Learning….

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By Education Today

Posted on April 7, 2022


5 min read

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Special Education

Spinal Muscular Atrophy is the most common genetic disease of the spinal motor neuron. MinD is an organization that works for those who suffer from such diseases. MinD– Mobility in Dystrophy, a nascent fellowship of patients of Muscular Dystrophy and Spinal Muscular Atrophy across Kerala, is an organisation of a handful of people who makes the famous saying “If you can dream it, you can do it” meaningful. Ever since the formation of MinD, they have become the voice of the voiceless and every action, every step they took remains rooted to the visions of the organisation.

Prerana signifies inspiration, the passion to start a new. In the spirit of this idea, Mobility in Dystrophy (MinD) Trust launched the Prerana project to raise the standard of education of those suffering from muscular dystrophy / spinal muscular atrophy and to refresh the comprehension for those who have dropped out.

Challenges in travelling, lack of disability-friendly or wheelchair accessible environments, absence of people to help, difficulties in eating and to top it all off, negative behavior and teasing from teachers and children, are the major obstacles that stand in the way of proper education for mobility impaired people.

Realizing the gravity of these numerous problems, victims of Muscular dystrophy / spinal muscular atrophy formed a WhatsApp community in 2016 to study and acquire a list of students.

The list included those who went to school, studied at home, and those who are currently out of school below the age of 20. In this list, quite a few illiterate children were found. They were then taught through online classes by highly educated members of the MinD trust. The talented teachers -cum- executive members of MinD, were enlisted for the correspondence exams and made to study at home.

In the following years, we closely documented the children who were members of the MinD. Several children were found to be unable to attend school regularly or unable to attend at all, some even completely dropping out due to illness. These kids were taken under our wing and given the proper education they deserved. MinD is proud to say í one of them cleared the 7th class and went onto pass the Kerala Literacy Mission’s 2019 Equivalency Examination with distinction. That student is currently preparing for the Plus One Equivalency Test.

Current activities of Prerana areCounselling is provided with the help of psychologists to enhance the mental state of the students, Distribution of learning materials to students in need in collaboration with ‘Kite Foundation’,As part of the ‘Aksharam’ project of the Kerala Literacy Mission, highly capable members of the MinD trust taught those who registered for the equivalency exams for Classes 4,7,10, and +2 through online classes. This has helped many of them scale greater heights, Provision of financial support to pursue a degree for students who dropped out of school after Plus Two, Conduction of PSC guiding classes online called ‘Winners Club’ for government job seekers under the guidance of trust members, 

Organization of online classes for 8th and 9th-grade students in affiliation with the Udayan project of the Prajaahita Foundation, a voluntary organization for students from families in need and children of parents with debilitating diseases, Launching of the ‘Speakers Club’ that runs online courses, including English classes, to enhance language skills and improve learning, Arrangement of online thematic classes during the last week of May 2021 for ten students who graduated from Class IX to Class X. It was designed to make the 10th class examination easier for the students. Graduates and postgraduates of MinD Trust and Koot, the volunteer wing of MinD, are at the helm of this online class. This is something we are very delighted about. The government will continue the online class till the end of March. Until then we shall carry on with the e-learning, which is progressing smoothly, awarding of prizes including cash rewards to students who are members of MinD or the children of those who are sick as part of the encouragement to get through competitive exams, Creation of policies to express and enhance artistic and cultural skills. MinD Trust has launched the bi-monthly magazine ‘Idam’ to provide a platform for showcasing student talent, including essay writing, Special ‘equality’ tuitions for Plus Two and Tenth standard students are being conducted by volunteer teachers, Tuitions for Ninth standard students have also been started in July 2021.

Within a few years of inception, the following students made the Mind Family proud by way of their academic excellence/achievements in the SSLC examinations.

Stars of the MIND/Prerana program and family members who excelled in academics.

Locate children studying in 8th and 9th classes, and nurture their untapped potential through online tuition along with schooling. Teach the basic skills of reading and writing to children who are unable to go to school and those who have dropped out of school. There are many people with big dreams who have missed out on the chance to pursue higher education and support their families because of the shackles of their physical limitations. MinD plans to support these individuals in completing their graduate and post-graduate ambitions. Provide technological support like laptops and online facilities to students in need along with the assistance of expert teachers to improve education. These are the future goals of MinD.