Published: 20th June 2017
This School for Special Kids in Kerala produced Olympians in 2011. Today, they've started an online campaign to stay alive as Centre has cut off funds
Nirmala Sadan, a school in Muvattupuzha for the specially abled children, which has produced Olympians, is now facing a grim future as the centre has stopped allotting funds
Nirmala Sadan, a school for children with special needs in Kerala, is staring at an uncertain future. The school in Muvattupuzha, lying on the eastern borders of Ernakulam district, was a beneficiary of Central funds for years before it turned to a trickle, and one day, stopped altogether. The inquiries made to the departmental offices, questions posed to legislators and letters written to the prime minister heeded no satisfactory answers.
Left in the lurch and feeling betrayed, Remya Raj, a teacher at the school took to Change.org in the hope of garnering support for the school and its mentally challenged students who have made the country proud at Special Olympics.
Nirmala Sadan has nearly 230 students, all of whom are trained free of cost. Two of its students had won medals for the country in the 2011 Athens Special Olympics — Binton Benny was member of the Indian basketball team that won gold and Aneesh Peter was the member of the handball team that won silver. The school of champions remain hopeful the Central government would act on its behalf and lift them out of the troubles it finds itself in.
"The school is going through a rough patch as all the funds have dried up. For the last two years, we have not received funds from the Central government and sustained on the support from voluntary organisations. But, it cant go on anymore," says Raj. She says in the academic year, 2014-15, the grants they received from the government halved without any prior notification and funds ceased to arrive from the next year onwards. "All the 22 teachers at the school has been working without salary for the last two years. Now, it has come to a point where the day-to-day activities of the school are put on hold. I took to Change.org at this juncture," the teacher says.
The school is going through a rough patch as all the funds have dried up. For the last two years, we have not received funds from the Central government and sustained on the support from voluntary organisations. But, it cant go on anymore
Remya Raj, Teacher, Nirmala Sadan
The school made inquiries at the concerned departments who said even they are unaware why the school has been denied grants and few other said the funds are on the way. "A few schools received funds while certain others did not. None of the schools who did not receive the funds were served an explanation from the Ministry of Social Justice or other departments," says Raj. The school representatives met the MP and wrote a letter to the prime minister but to no avail. "We have heard the PM responds to letters from ordinary citizenry, but we were unlucky on that count as well. The letter sent at least 3-4 months ago has not yet received a reply," Raj adds.