Disability

Currently there are 96 children in the area where Ayries works who have a disability. There are no provisions made by the State for these children so this means that children affected by cerebral palsy and Downʼs Syndrome, for example, do not attend school and have not in the past had access to physiotherapy or mobility equipment. There are many children who have spent years of their lives lying on the floors of their huts alone while their parents are working.

Physiotherapy

This forms a key part of the disability programme. Staff have had physiotherapy training at the Association for People with Disability in Bangalore since 2004. There are four staff whose main work for part of each day is visiting children in their homes and giving physiotherapy to the children (and speech therapy where appropriate), working with parents and ensuring the children are washed and fed. Key to the success of the programme is the fact that staff travel to see these children: in many cases the status of the children or financial situation of the family means that carers either cannot or will not bring them to the office for help. In addition there are 15 such children who are cared for by grandparents, often very hard pressed to provide enough food for them.

The Centres

The other main role staff have is working with children who visit one of the centres where besides a morning of education and social interaction the children receive physiotherapy and a cooked meal.

Staff report a fantastic improvement in the health of the children (some of whom have been very undernourished in the past) due to the improved nutritional intake - plenty of eggs are included. The time and care taken to feed the children is crucial. This together with physiotherapy has made children ready for mobility equipment who were previously far too weak to even consider it.

Mobility Equipment

Hand in hand with this area of work goes the supply of mobility equipment. Since October 2008, more than £5000 has been spent on purchasing mobility equipment for children and young adults with disabilities. Our partner, the Association for People with Disability in Bangalore (APD) continues to supply and fit mobility equipment and train our staff and parents in its use.

To date Ayries has provided 138 sets of mobility equipment, including supportive seat wheelchairs, 3 wheelers, adapted tricycles and different kinds of callipers and frames.

Subalaksimiʼs story

Subalaksimi is nearly 8 years old and one of twins both of whom are severely affected by CP. She is described by Jessi Rani as very very clever. ʻBy regular therapy and DLA (daily life activities) she is helped by our staff. Some times she likes to stand and move so we decided to give a set of callipers and her mother has been trained to set the callipers. As she doesnʼt do it enough, our staff help her to use them for one or two hours daily in our centre. She is now trying to stand without support.ʼ

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