RMKM-Community based rehabilitation for Mentally Challenged Children

RMKM is an NGO that is actively working towards empowerment of deprived segments of the society, especially women and children for 30 years now.

RMKM has been fostering the rehabilitation of mentally challenged children since July 1994. To educate and rehabilitate these children various activities are conducted under two different programs - the Day Care Center and the Community Based Rehabilitation Program (CBR).

The Day Care Center provides education and training to mentally challenged children and assists them in performing day-to-day activities independently. Over the years, the enrollment at the Day Care Center has gone up from 7 to 60. As part of the training program, children are taught various trades like tie and dye, making stationery items and preparation of compost from community waste material. They are also provided speech therapy and physiotherapy to enable them to reach their full potential.

The CBR program provides home based intervention facility for those mentally challenged children whose status prevents them from attending the day care center. These children are visited by a specially trained teacher at their homes every fortnight. There are currently 165 children in the CBR program. The CBR workers identify a trainer within the child's home, and train them in rehabilitation methods. The parents are counseled if needed and the child's progress is monitored. Twenty-two children have been rehabilitated so far and are working in private shops, services and income-generating activities provided by the Day Care Center.

RMKM helps families of mentally handicapped children who are below the poverty line, enroll and benefit from government schemes such as Aastha Yojana, which gives them various concessions and free medical facilities.

RMKM also maintains strong links with the National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped (NIMH) to use the best and most recent methods in the field for vocational, therapeutic and educational training.

Vibha has been funding RMKM since August 2003 to the extent of $11,990 per year. The funds are used towards part of the day care and CBR programs. The CBR program was re-launched with Vibha funding after it had received a setback and closed due to lack of funds.

Success Stories:

Sachin Sharma is 24 years old and affected by cerebral palsy. When a CBR worker from RMKM first identified him as needing assistance, he exhibited behavior problems that prevented him from functioning at home and in the society. Extensive behavior modification training has helped him gain self-esteem and overcome his behavior problems. With his brother's support, he started to manage a shop. Now his brother has gradually withdrawn his supervision and Sachin is able to manage the store independently.

Iqbal is a 22 year disabled individual from a poor family. He spent most of his time lying immobile on the floor. Even when provided with a board on wheels, he was unable to leave the recumbent position. His life turned around when he was donated a hand-cycle by a kind individual. With his new-found mobility and help from RMKM, he set up shop to sell mouth-fresheners. Now, he operates a mobile long-distance call center, which he takes to the nearby railway crossing and also sells sundries. Thus financially empowered he is now a successful and confident member of society.