HomeHealth > Deepam - Project for the Disabled Village Children

Deepam-project for the disabled children



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In India , an oil lamp with an open flame is called a “Deepam”.

For centuries, every year in December, at full moon, the Deepam festival has been celebrated. We chose this name for our project because we want to bring light into the lives of disabled children.



The history of our project

Our work started out as a small project in 1992. At that time it was a playground for disabled children of the South Indian village of Kuilapalayam. In 1995, we were able to build our own spacious therapy room near the Auroville Health Centre.

A few years later with the help of donations, it was possible to add an upstairs room to the existing one and employ qualified staff. In the meantime, we have extended our work to twenty surrounding villages, caring for around a hundred children with various disabilities. Angelika Ehrle, an occupational therapist from Germany and Selvi, who is born in India , are an ideal combination to share responsibility for the steadily growing project.


Many aspects of our work

The family situation of our children is taken into consideration, as the families are often poor and without social security or regular income. Many of the disabled children will require special help for the rest of their lives. As their parents are often uneducated, we need to explain our work to them and involve them in doing exercises with their child. The tropical climate with its extreme heat and humidity, many dry months followed by heavy monsoon rains, as well as the poor infrastructure add extra challenges to our work. Many children require medial help because of malnourishment, intestinal parasites and infectious diseases. When needed, we refer our patients to specialists and help in arranging for surgery or provide appliances such as hearing aids, calipers or wheel chairs. In some cases we make house visits. Babies and small children receive physiotherapy and other therapies. We offer a daycare programme for the older children and youth who can not attend regular schools because of their disability. Each child follows an individually designed programme which is a combination of physiotherapy, massage, occupational and speech therapies.
We teach, whenever possible, simple maths, reading and writing, individually or in small groups. All our children learn how to take care of their teeth, wash their hands, dress themselves and use a toilet.
With the big group, we play and have fun, do handicrafts, swimming and sports, and go for outings.

What we have achieved and our goals

Our team is able to offer qualified therapy to children with differing disabilities. With our van, it is now possible to pick up children from far off villages and offer them therapy and daycare. Twice a day we provide a nutritious snack and lunch for the children who stay the full day. Our team members are highly motivated, qualified and our team work is excellent. In the future, we would to be able to offer basic nutrition and medication for more underprivileged children. Many of the children with whom we started in 1992 have meanwhile become adults and are in need of lifelong special care. It now becomes necessary to start a separate programme for the growing number mentally and physically disabled adults. This will be another big step for our project.

What we have achieved and our goals

Deepam project is entirely financed with the help of donations. With the expansion our work the expenses for salaries, transport, nutrition, medicines, aids and other material are rising. We are grateful for your donations which make our work for the children possible.


For any questions please contact us at Deepam,

Phone: 0091-(0)413-2623 254

Email: deepam@auroville.org.in

Donations from abroad and from within India can be sent via:

Swift Code transfer # SBININBB474

AV Fund account # 10237876508,

Beneficiary: Deepam, Branch Code: 03160

State Bank of India , Kuilapalayam,

Auroville 605101, INDIA


Or by personal cheque directly to:

Deepam, Aspiration, Auroville,

T.N. , INDIA 605101

For further details, contact: deepam@auroville.org.in

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