JAI VAKEEL FOUNDATION
In India, 2% of the population has Intellectual Developmental Disability (IDD), that is one in every 50, a staggering 26 million people.
Within disabilities, IDD is the most invisible, making them one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in Indian society.
In India, despite laws that recognize and protect their rights, they are regularly mistreated and denied basic human dignity. In many parts, IDD is still considered to be the result of divine justice or punishment for sins committed in past lives and they continue to be neglected and stigmatized. They are widely considered less deserving of opportunities for education and employment
As the largest and oldest non-profit working in this space, we are committed to looking at each child with a belief in their potential to lead fuller and more inclusive lives. Our approach is holistic. We aim to integrate our students into mainstream society by providing them with healthcare, education and skill development.
No matter how economically weak or profoundly challenged we welcome all students to our foundation.
Over 75 years through our various interactions we have impacted over 1 lac lives, most of whom belong to the lower strata.
34-year-old Rupali proudly pushes her sleeves and gets to work, head bent and eager to show off her work she concentrates on the task at hand. She initially started knitting, embroidery and made fair progress in the sheltered workshop. Today she deftly makes complicated flowers out of ribbons, and is confident of her skills.
At 2.5 years Rupali had frequent convulsions. At age 3 she had surgery to repair her cleft lip & palate. She came to Jai Vakeel Foundation at age 9 as she was struggling to cope with academics. She was diagnosed with Noonan syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by mildly unusual facial features, short height, congenital heart disease, bleeding problems, and skeletal malformations. She also has moderate IDD.
She has had many challenges, compounded with financial struggles & unhealthy self harming behaviour like head banging & biting herself.
With both her parents deceased and Rupali lives with her siblings & aunt. Years of counselling with has led to an improvement in her behaviour. Rupali enjoys coming to the foundation, enjoys the interaction with her instructors and friends & takes pride in the products she makes and the stipend she earns.