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About the Aban Cares
The Aban Group, through its Charitable Trust, Aban Cares, hopes to passionately engage with society and ensure that the needy get healthcare, education and succour in times of calamity.
Phone Number
+91 - 44 - 49060606
Contact Email
purandirann@aban.com
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Visit Report: 
Place: Hariksha Learning Centre for Mentally Retarded (MR) Children, Avalurpettai, Thiruvannamalai
Date: 18th December 2010
Report prepared by: K. Ravi and S.N.Balaji of Aban Cares
Background:  
Hariksha is an NGO started on 7th September, 2006 and is a registered trust with exemption available under section 80 G of IT Act. The learning centre is its flagship project. It was started on 4th Dec 2008, and is located in Avalurpet village, Melmalaiyanoor block, Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu. It is sponsored by ASHA Foundation for the year 08-09. It is devotedly managed by Mr. P. Ravi, who is the Managing Trustee. Aban was referred to this project by Mr. Bhaskar of Asha Foundation.
Purpose of the Trust:   
The State govt. through a Survey had identified about 100 children in the age groups of 3-16 who have Cerebral Palsy (CP) and other Mental & Developmental disabilities in this block alone. The policy adopted by the state government is to provide inclusive education to children with special needs. However there is a severe shortage of quality infrastructure which hampered the implementation of this program of the govt.
It is in this backdrop that the Hariksha Learning Centre (HLC) was established and run for children with CP and Mental Retardation, free of cost. About 30 children come from the nearby villages of Melmalayanoor Block. They are picked up by hired vans in the morning and returned to their homes in the evening. The children are provided with some snack in morning, lunch and are also sponsored uniforms. Most of these children were hitherto not attending any school and were at home where the care they got was constrained by their families' economic situation and commitments.
Infrastructure   
The HLC school building is a rented, traditional village house with tiled roof. There is a small kitchen and a store room, 3 sections, and a backyard which has one toilet. Physiotherapy for Spastic children takes place in one section and skills on Activities of Daily Living (ADL) are taught in another. There is one electrical stimulator which is used in physiotherapy. The staff includes one physiotherapist, a teacher, a cook, 2 janitors and 1 driver.
Daily Activity:    
The children are given physiotherapy initially to enable them perform basic physical functions. Then they are taught life skills such as recognizing money, colours and performing day to day tasks. They are also imparted basic education like learning alphabets, numbers etc. There is a constant need to clean up due to wetting and soiling of the surroundings and person of children who lack bowel control. There are two children with autism who do not get therapy due to lack of a specialised speech therapist. We were told that they are looking for one.
At the end of every day, the physiotherapist and the teachers register the activity of individual children. The children’s development is assessed every 3 months based on the MDPS Scale (Madras Development Programming System). The scale consists of 360 observable and measurable items grouped under 18 functional domains such as gross motor skills, fine motor skills, eating, dressing, toileting, etc. The goals for the next 3 months are fixed according to results of the evaluation.
Need of the Hour     
In order to stabilise, the school needs its own vehicle and its own building. Presently the children are picked-up by hired vans resulting in loss of time (the vehicle is a small auto type of van which needs to make many trips) and money. Hence it is proposed that Aban Cares may donate a van to this Trust. It is also suggested that before approving this proposal, one more surprise visit by a few other committee members may be done, to doubly ensure that the funds proposed to be deployed will indeed benefit the Trust and the children it cares for.
Hariksha – Contact Info:      
P.Ravi (Managing Trustee),
Ph no: 09786259151, 04175-232224
Email Id: hariksha@hotmail.com; rihasu_2001@rediffmail.com