Muskan Foundation’s association with MDVI children started as early as February 2007, under the leadership of Mrs. Dipti Gandhi who perpetuated a new lease of life for children with multiple disabilities. The main objective of this venture was to bridge the gap in schools and education centers, which are usually not equipped to handle multiple disabilities along with blindness. Muskan Foundation aims to provide a spectrum of customized services ranging from early intervention, education, therapy, counseling and MDVI awareness. The foundation commenced its work with a small group of 4 children, which has swelled to 104 students in three centers and more than 200 children receiving regular therapy.
Muskan has three wings
ABOUT MDVIMultiple disability refers to a child who has more than one disability. As per the THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR THE WELFARE OF PERSONS WITH AUTISM, CEREBRAL PALSY, MENTAL RETARDATION AND MULTIPLE DISABILITIES ACT, 1999 , “Multiple Disabilities” means a combination of two or more disabilities as defined in clause (i) of section 2 of the Person with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (1 of 1996). According to Individual with disabilities education act (1990)(IDEA) in the USA a child is considered multiply handicapped if she/he has two or more handicapping condition that require educational attention which cannot be met by arrangement for single disability.Muskan Foundation works with children having Multiple Disabilities with Visual Impairment(MDVI).The National Trust Act has included and given a comprehensive description of this condition, which includes
- Deafblind (visual impairment + hearing impairment)
- Visual impairment + hearing impairment + mental retardation
- Visual impairment + mental retardation
- Cerebral palsy + mental retardation / hearing / speech / visual problem
What are the difficulties faced by MDVI children?In many cases persons with multiple disabilities may have sensory, neurological and/or psychological problems. Although there are differences in characteristics of persons with MDVI due to the different combinations of disabilities and the severity of disabilities, there are common characteristics that are exhibited. Some of these are:
- Developmental delays
- Limited speech or communication
- Difficulty in mobility
- Trouble generalizing skills from one situation to the other
- Difficulty in socializing/ interpersonal relationships
- Have feeding difficulties and / or unusual sleep patterns
- Defensive to touch
- Low on motivation/self esteem
- Withdrawn and isolated
- Need support for activities of daily living, vocational, leisure etc.
MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER
Being in the field of disability for 25 years now, I’m happy to see the attitudinal change in the society over the years. The PWD Act has been changed to “Right to Disability Act”, which now includes 21 disabilities. Initially, the Right to Disability Act did not consider deaf blindness as a disability. Disability inclusion is the new thing in mainstream schools, hotels and, tourist places too are becoming accessible to persons with disabilities. But when we talk about multiple disabilities, laymen as well as professionals know very little about it. Professionals look at multiple disabilities as a combination of two or more disabilities. When in reality, multiple disabilities are the impact of two or more disabilities and their combined outcome is very different. Muskan Foundation, in its own little way, is trying to create awareness in the society-at times through planned events like our Awareness Programs and otherwise, incidentally.
We now have external consultants from the world of therapy, helping our parents and teachers understand their child’s difficulties and providing rehabilitative solutions. The mother toddler programme too, is showing great results. Children at the early age of 6 months to 2 years join this programme and the magic of intervention just changes them, bringing them closer to the normal milestones. MAPP – ‘Muskan Association for Parents and Professionals’ is another facet of progressive Muskan wherein we have regular knowledge and skill based trainings for parents and professionals. Ongoing internal and external training of the special educators is another important feature of our programme. The teachers have to be kept abreast with upcoming concepts in the field. Thus, we have regular intensive trainings for our teachers and we send them for external trainings as well.
Muskan is dedicated to the cause of multiple disabilities and in the years to come, will strive to give our best to persons with disabilities.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
MRS. DIPTI GANDHI FOUNDER, HONORARY DIRECTOR & MANAGING TRUSTEE
She is a Master Trainer and a Mentor in the Disability sector at the National Level. She is a member of the Educational Committee of National Association for the Blind and also a member of the Sexual Harassment Committee at Hindustan Petroleum.
MR. SANJAY GANDHI, TRUSTEE
Mr. Sanjay Gandhi is the person, who backed the founder Mrs Dipti Gandhi to bring Muskan Foundation to greater heights. He has been constantly supporting Muskan, financially and motivating the staff to perform better. He is also the trustee of Sankalpa Vidya Nidhi, where they support education for rural setups. He is a civil engineer by profession and runs a construction business.
MRS. CHHAYA SHAH, TRUSTEE
She has a Master degree in Science. A friend of Dipti Gandhi who offered her services to Muskan Foundation for people with Multiple Disabilities as she believed in the cause.
MR. PINKESH KAPADIA
He is a Chartered Accountant with 30 years of professional experience. He is also associated with organisations related to cancer and other charitable activities.
Rishabh Nag is skilled in Marketing, Advertising, and Strategy, with an MBA in Marketing from Welingkar Institute of Management. He is the Co-Founder and Head of Business at Cardinbox Technologies Pvt Ltd.
AccreditationMuskan Foundation is accredited by the below establishments, keeping in view the work that we are doing in the field of education, therapy, counseling and intervention for MDVI children.
Credibility Alliance – Credibility Alliance is a consortium of Voluntary Organizations (VOs) committed towards enhancing Accountability and Transparency in the Voluntary Sector through good Governance.
Sense International India – Also known as Sense India, they support and advocate for better services for deafblind children and adults across India and partner with NGOs and the government to provide them with care and education.
Perkins Voice and Vision – Perkins Voice and Vision is a national resource and training center for children with vision impairment and
multiple disabilities (VIMD), including deafblindness. Perkins International of Perkins School for the Blind, USA and was set up
as an informal Task Force of experts in the year 2002. They work to train Master teachers, teachers, CBR workers, aanganwadi
workers, supervisors and families of children with VIMD in all regions and states of India.
Carrying forward the philanthropic tradition of the Wadia Family, The Wadia Hospitals provide world-class services for Paediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, making affordable healthcare accessible to people from every section of society, because we believe that each person is entitled to a happy and healthy life.
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Registered under the Bombay Public trust Act, 1950 Under Registration
Number E 25579 (Mumbai) dated 21.3.2009.
Registered as ‘Muskan Foundation for People with multiple disabilities’
Pan number: AACTM3070C
12 A number: TR/43801 dated 05.01.2011
80G number: DIT (E)/80G/1012/2011-12
FCRA Registration number: 083781365
TAN No. – MUMM46591G
Social Welfare Registration – 676/ 12.03.2015 (in process of renewal)