|To prepare the children for independent existence in adult life, our primary focus is on education. The following initiatives have been undertaken within this area.|
In 2002, there was no dedicated accommodation for the girls attending SKSN. Unlike the boys who converted their daytime classrooms into bedrooms in the evenings, the girls had to be bussed to a remote location every day after school. They were housed in the same facility as a de-addiction centre that made the girls feel very unsafe and vulnerable.
Constructed at a cost of £113, 659 ($171,625), the 140-bed Academic and Vocational Training centre for Girls (”The Hostel” ) opened on July 1, 2004. The number of girls enrolling at SKSN shot up as a direct result of building this facility. There was also a noticeable change in the girls’ demeanor. Whereas before they moved around listlessly, now they bounced with joy and energy comfortable in the knowledge that they had a place they could call as their own. Our faith in this initiative was validated when the girls of SKSN won 15 gold medals in the ‘UK Disability Sports’ competition!
This is an ongoing project. More information can be found at: University Education Fund.
To assist the handicapped children of SKSN in carrying their books (recognising that to get around many of these children either crawled on all 4 limbs or used crutches ), in 2003, all the children were provided with school bags at a total cost of £944 ($1,430).
In June 2004, Dr Bhairoon Singh Bhati, secretary of SKSN shared with Polio Children that the word had got around about our activities at SKSN over the previous 2 years. He added that about 50 families were camped outside the school in anticipation of enrolling their children at SKSN for the new school year. He further related that with the budget constraints he was facing, he was barely able to support the existing enrollees let alone take additional students. From our previous visits to SKSN we knew that most of these children came from very poor families whose own survival was tenuous given the severe drought conditions the state of Rajasthan had been experiencing for several years. We also knew that if these children could not somehow be accommodated at SKSN, they almost certainly faced a future of neglect, misery, or worse. This could not be allowed to happen and so Polio Children has been fully supporting this group of most severely handicapped children since 2004.
Projected cost: £9,934 ($15,000) per annum for 24 students.
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