Snehabhavan (SB), since its inception by Fr. Joseph Kannampuzha S J in 1990, has been growing steadily under the leadership of Fr. Sebastian Thengumpallil SJ and Fr. Philip J Thayil SJ.
Last year has seen a major change in the leadership of Snehabhavan. The General Body and Governing Body held on 22nd July 2017, unanimously approved the following Administrative changes, which came in to effect immediately. In line with that administrative changes, Dr. Lizy James took charge as the director of Snehabhavan. Mr. Joseph Puthupparambil has been given the responsibility of the Vocational Training Centre (VTC) at Aymanam as its Co-ordinator. The designation of Mr. Joji Mathew has been changed to Executive Officer and his tenure is extended for one more year.
On this occasion I would like to present before you the growth of Snehabhavan Charitable Society through its new leadership and services of special school for the mentally challenged and Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) for the physically and mentally challenged person.
Snehabhavan Special School:
During the period of reporting there were 68 students in the school. This includes 8 new admissions in the current academic year. The part-time Physio-cum speech therapist and 2 teachers left the school in May 2018 for better prospects and they are replaced by qualified hands. Now we do not have a speech therapist, so looking for a part-time speech therapist. Currently, 9 trained teachers and 8 non-teaching staff are working with Snehabhavan Special School. Two teachers are on maternity leave.
From 2017-18 academic year, Department of Public Instruction (DPI), Government of Kerala has implemented new curriculum and supplied teacher’s handbook and teaching modules for the school. To implement the new teaching modules, all teachers and principal attended 5 days training programme organized by the Department of Education.
The Assistant Education Officer (AEO) in-charge of Mid-day meals came for inspection on 26th July and suggested to start a vegetable garden with the financial support of Agriculture Dept. He also recommended to renovate the kitchen by putting tiles and to have more ventilation. The Education department provided a gas stove, necessary utensils and financial support to cook noon meals for our students.
The Agricultural Department supported vegetable cultivation on the terrace of the school building using Rain shelter and Drip Irrigation which enabled us to provide fresh vegetables to our students.
The paddy field at Aymanam Centre has been cultivated with the support of Agricultural Department. It was harvested in November 2017 and fetched an income of Rs. 10240/. Rs. 7414/ has been released by the Department, while we spent around Rs. 8000-10000/. The vegetables and banana, cultivated at Aymanam are used for our students. An amount of Rs. 66414/ received from Agricultural Department as subsidy including a sprayer worth Rs. 1500/ during the reporting period.
Based on the recommendation of the AEO during inspection and decision of the last General Body and subsequent meetings of the Governing Body, renovation of kitchen and dining hall are undertaken and nearing completion. The open space attached to the office building, is also underwent repair and renovation. Entire drainage system is repaired and maintained. Floors of kitchen and dining hall are covered with new tiles and roof of kitchen and dining hall replaced.
Doctors from Homoeo General Hospital conducted regular Medical Camp for our students and parents on every 1st Friday of the month at Gandhinagar and Aymanam for 4 months. However, this could not be continued due to non-availability of doctors. A dental check up was conducted by doctors from Dental College, Gandhinagar and recommended remedial measures.
SB celebrated the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola on 25th July. In the same meeting the new director was welcomed and a common staff meeting was conducted and introduced the new director to the staff and students.
Sponsorship: Submitted sponsorship applications to different organizations and Oriental Insurance sponsored 2 water coolers and a Fridge.
The Cochin Shipyard presented us with a new School bus, worth 16 lakhs from their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. It was launched by Adv. Radhakrishnamenon, Chairman and Director, Cochin Shipyard in the presence Rev. Dr. M. K. George S J, Provincial, Kerala Jesuits Province, who blessed the new school bus.
Accreditation: For the purpose of accreditation of Snehabhavan with the Social Justice Department, Thiruvananthapuram, a SWOT Analysis session was organized on 25th August 2017 for all SB staff. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the organization were identified. Based on that, an Action Plan has been prepared for the coming years. Documentation for accreditation of Snehabhavan Charitable Society was completed and submitted to the Department of Social Justice, on 11th January, 2018 and waiting for the outcome.
The principal and two teachers of Snehabhavan participated in the day long hunger strike organized by the Association for the Intellectually disabled (AID) in front of the Government secretariat Trivandrum on 14th August, 2017 to press the demands of the Association to protect the Rights of the disabled.
Undergraduate and post-graduate students of Nursing and Social work students from different institutions such as School of Medical Education, Kottayam, BCM College, Kottayam SB College Changanassery visited Snehabhavan and interacted with our students. Two Social Work students from Loyola College, Thiruvananthapuram spent one month for their internship.
Onam was celebrated with students, parents and members of our Governing Body and organized competitions for parents and students. Everyone enjoyed the celebration and onasadya.
Annual Day: SB Annual Day celebrations were organized on 05th December, 2017. Dr. Cyriac Thomas, former Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam was the Chief Guest. The function was attended by students, parents, General Body – Governing Body members, sponsors, well wishers and neighbours of SB.
Christmas Celebration. This year we organized Christmas Celebration at Vocational Training Centre, Aymanam to enable the neighbours to participate. Students from CMS College, Kottayam also attended the programme and presented Christmas gifts to our students.
Special Olympics. Our students participated in the Special Olympics conducted at LNCPE ground, Thiruvananthapuram from 11th-15th January 2018. On 11th early morning 26 students along with their parents and teachers went to Thiruvananthapuram in 2 buses from Santhinilayam. They participated in the rally at Thiruvanathapuram. On 13th Saturday night all students and staff returned with 9 Gold, 10 silver and 8 Bronze medals.
Snehabhavan Special school at Gandhinagar campus remained closed for 2 months for summer holidays. During holidays, the teachers visited homes of their students and assessed their home conditions and instructed parents on the care of their children during holidays.
Summer Holiday Programmes. During summer holidays 12 students were given computer classes at VTC, Aymanam.
Jesuit brothers organized a Leadership camp for the students 3 days from 18th to 20th April 2018.
Team Building Workshop. Offered one day workshop on “Team Building” by Mr. Dominic Mathew, Regional Director, (Rtd) Central Board for Workers Education was organized for all staff of SB on 28th May 2018.
Half a Day session on Assessment of students under the New Curriculum by Sr. Flower Jose, State Resource Team member of the new curriculum was held on 30th May 2018 for teachers. The above sessions will continue in each term.
On the school reopening day, ECHO, the music troop of ATMA, a Cultural Organisation at Kottayam presented a music programme for our students, which was arranged by Fr. Sony Thazhathel S J.
On June 5th Monday, Pravesanolsavam was organized with a Public Meeting which was inaugurated by Sri. Chandramohan, Municipal Ward member, and felicitated by Fr. Sony Thazhathel S J, President Snehabhavan. SB students presented a cultural programme.
The first parents meeting of current academic year was held on 21st June 2018, in which 38 parents participated. The members of Executive Committee of parents had visited homes of our students during holidays and encouraged them to participate more actively in the school activities and that resulted in the increased participation of parents in the meeting.
Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Programme
CHAI-LF: Through CHAI-LF 97 beneficiaries in the CBR Programme including 22 students of our school are supported. Mr. M.K Raju, Asst. Programme Manager, CHAI-LF conducted a thorough evaluation of the programme on 8th and 9th December 2017. After the evaluation, it was reported that our financial documentation is perfect, all credits to our accountant Mr. Joseph Cherukadan, but we need to improve on the documentation of programmes, especially Individual files. SB teachers conducted assessment of children supported by CHAI-LF in January and February 2018 by conducting camps in our CBR areas and prepared individual files for all children we are supporting. From next year onwards CHAI-LF will not support children in Special Education, but only in Inclusive Education, that is special need children studying in General Schools.
Mr. Joji Mathew attended a training on Participatory Project Planning and Management at CHAI, Secunderabad from 26th – 29th July 2017. Joji reported that the training was useful and plan to train our CBR members and leaders on Participatory methods in the coming training programmes for the CBR functionaries and one such training programme was conducted at Snehabhavan on 27th September 2018, in which 60 members participated.
Mr. Joji Mathew is in the process of reviving the CBR activities in the 4 Panchayaths. Regular Core Committees meetings are being conducted on every month, on the 1st Thursdays at Manarkadu, 2nd Thursdays at Vijayapuram and 1st Mondays at Karapuzha. At Thiruvarppu and Kanakkari, it is in the process of revival. On the 1st Wednesdays, Federation Meetings are conducted at Snehabhavan. However, due to lack of field staff we are not able to revive the Self-Help Groups which were functioning earlier.
Onam Celebration: Kanakkari and Karapuzha Core Committees conducted Onam Celebration on 20th and 31st September respectively.
Get-together of Persons with Disability: Gatherings of Persons with Disability (PWDs) were organized at Manarkadu and Kanakkary on 28th December 2017 and 19th May 2018 with the support of local panchayaths where 85 and 155 persons respectively attended.
Tailoring and Computer training: Sahana Charitable Society of Kanakkary CBR is conducting tailoring and computer training programmes for mothers of PWDs in the room provided by the Panchayath. There are 16 persons now under training.
Self-employment: 15 families with PWDs were supported to engage in self-employment through loan and subsidy from Kerala State Handicapped Welfare Corporation (KSHWC). These families altogether received Rs. 70400/ and Rs. 362000/ as subsidy.Details as follows:
Sl no . Schemes Number
1. Petty shops 3
2. Tailoring 6
3. Goat rearing 4
4. Cow farming 1
5. Poultry farming 1
Sl.no Panchayath Number
1. Kanakkary 11
2. Arpookara 1
3. Vijayapuram 1
4. Athirampuzha (SLF) 1
5. Manarkadu (SLF) 1
Niramaya Insurance Scheme: (Health Insurance Scheme by Central Government)
Sl. No Niramaya Scheme Frequency
1 Snehabhavan School 20
2 S L F 19
3. C B R 90
Two applicants from Kanakkary CBR were supported to get three tyre scooters.
Housing Scheme (Life Project).
Six families in Karapuzha and 2 families in Kanakkary were supported to get registered under Life Project (Housing) of the State Government.
Concessions in the Railway, KSRTC and Private buses were applied for all members of 5 Core Committees. 90 persons from Core Committees and 2 students from the school obtained concession.
In all, 70 persons with disability are supported to apply for Aswasakiran programme from the 4 Panchayaths and Snehabhavan school so far and 12 persons obtained the benefit.
We Care Programme: Three persons, one from Manarkadu and two persons from Kanakkary were supported to apply for this continuous long term treatment for persons with disability and they were provided with Rs. 10000/ from the Social Security Mission, Kerala.
Karunya Benevalent Fund: Father of one of our SLF beneficiaries was supported to avail Rs. 1.5 lakh for the treatment.
Government support schemes for Mentally Challenged Students: Mentally challenged students are eligible to get Rs. 28500/ in toto annually from Social Justice Department through local self-government under different heads such as education, medical, transport etc. But panchayaths hesitate to give the full amount. This was addressed and as a result, . Karapuzha and Vijayapuram panchayaths paid the full amount to 30 and 15 persons respectively.
Resource Centre: Documents such as application forms, gazette notifications and relevant Government orders of different schemes for the welfare of the PWDs from State and Central Government and Non-Governmental Organisations are collected and documented at Snehabhavan.
Network with Government Departments:
SB has established rather good net-work with the offices of Chief Minister, Ministers of Local Self Government, Social Justice and Finance at State level. At the district level SB closely associate with offices/departments of Panchayath, Collector’s office, Social Justice, Police, Education, Health and Transport. At local level SB effectively liaison with local Panchayaths, Municipality, Village Office, ICDS, Agricultural Office, Social Security Mission and Police.
We are thankful to the Society of Jesus, CHAI – LF Secunderabad, Government of Kerala, Feed and Shelter, Malayattoor, our generous local and foreign individual donors, friends, and well wishers for their financial support to SB.