I am Shishir Choudhary, proud father of Sagnik who is 21 yrs old and on the Autism Spectrum. I am also a mechanical engineer working for a MNC firm. I, along with some other parents conceptualised a Residential Rehab Project for individuals with Autism.
WHAT IS ASSISTED LIVING SERVICES?
We are building a community for Autistic & related individuals on initially cost sharing basis at Kondhiwali village near Wai (Near Panchgani hills on banks of River Krishna). The facility for 120 RESIDENTS + staff would be fully operational by June 2020.
RESIDENTS would be trained towards independent living process. That not being possible in entirety, we would provide necessary aid enough to ensure that individuals do not come in harm's way. They would have full day calendarized time-table right from the time they wake up to when they retire for bed. Depending on functional levels everyone will have planned activities to do throughout the day. Everyone would have separate dossier & their progress would be monitored against programmed schedules.
FEW THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OUR PROJECT
- We aim to create an umbrella of residential facility with number of workshops, sensory parks, organic nurseries, gymnasium, community hall, open space for variety of physical & therapeutic intervention to fill in the waking hours of RESIDENTS.
- We are already in touch with several Industries to create opportunities for occupation for our RESIDENTS. Depending on the functionality levels of the RESIDENTS we would create tailored options for them.
- Parents/Guardians who would like to live in the proximity of their wards have been provided an option to construct their own home on the NA plot assigned to them. Those not willing have exit option.
- Wai is a well-developed town & an educational hub from where we would source special educators, care-givers, hygiene workers & other staff just 10 km from project Kasturi. Kondhiwali has pleasant weather round the year with excellent infrastructure. Due to hilly terrain & Dam in the proximity no chances of industrial development are foreseen in future.
WHAT INSPIRES ME TO DO THE WORK I DO?
We are all driven by a passion to build a better future for our kids like every parent of normal kids aspire for. We believe, that these kids too have a right to exist independently in an environment suitable to their needs. Since this may not be possible in an open society structure, we are creating one such society for them.
ABOUT MY FAMILY ...
Inspiration for the project came from Reena, my better half. She clearly has a better vision and is the driver to ensure the success of the project.
Our daughter, Sarika10 year old and she already understands the needs of her elder bro Sagnik.
Both of us have also taken up singing and conduct regular concerts with an aim to spread awareness about Autism.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF THIS PROJECT?
Currently, registration process is painstakingly slow right now. But when the word spreads we expect more registrations.
Since spectrum is too wide, different individuals could have diverse needs which would require more specialists making manpower ratio 1:1.
HOW ARE WE HELPING SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN AND ADULTS?