About

Us

Vision: Children with MDVI participate and are recognised in their families and communities, and realise their own unique abilities in life.

Mission: Muskan maximises the potential of Children with MDVI, by providing customised, low cost therapies and special education under one roof; and by empowering parents with the knowledge, skills and confidence to support their child’s unique needs and development.

Muskan Philosophy

Early & Timely Intervention

A ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for MDVI Families

Multidisciplinary Team Approach

Inclusion of Children with MDVI in Society

Our History

Our People

It takes a special kind of dedication and compassion to work with Children with MDVI and make a difference. At Muskan, we are fortunate to have the helping hands of a caring, passionate Board of Trustees and the commitment of incredible special educators, therapists and staff who bring that ‘Muskan’ to our children’s faces!

Our Founder

Dipti Gandhi

Mrs. Dipti Gandhi is the Founder & CEO of Muskan Foundation. A WHO trained nationally renowned low vision consultant, she developed a Unique Vision Rehabilitation program for children with low vision which has a 92 percent success rate. Working in the disability field for last 27 years, Mrs. Dipti Gandhi honed her expertise by working as low vision consultant with renowed organisation like National Association of Blind. Recognizing the glaring gaps in the existing health care and education sector for Multiple Disabilities with Vision Impairment (MDVI), Mrs. Dipti Gandhi, founded Muskan in 2007. Muskan began with just 2 children operating in a small veranda and has now blossomed into 5 centres with more than 116 children benefiting from the program. She is also a Master trainer and a Mentor in the disability sector.

Board of Trustees

Mrs. Dipti Gandhi,
Honorary Director & Managing Trustee

Mrs. Dipti Gandhi is the Founder & CEO of Muskan Foundation. A WHO trained nationally renowned low vision consultant, she developed a Unique Vision Rehabilitation program for children with low vision which has a 92 percent success rate. Working in the disability field for last 27 years, Mrs. Dipti Gandhi honed her expertise by working as low vision consultant with renowed organisation like National Association of Blind. Recognizing the glaring gaps in the existing health care and education sector for Multiple Disabilities with Vision Impairment (MDVI), Mrs. Dipti Gandhi, founded Muskan in 2007. Muskan began with just 2 children operating in a small veranda and has now blossomed into 5 centres with more than 116 children benefiting from the program. She is also a Master trainer and a Mentor in the disability sector.

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Mr. Sanjay Gandhi,
Trustee

A civil engineer by profession, Mr. Sanjay Gandhi, has 40 years’ experience of working in the construction sector. He is the Partner in Ganesh Constructions. From the onset, Mr. Sanjay Gandhi has supported Muskan Foundation and has been a pillar of strength for Mrs. Dipti Gandhi.

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Mr. Pinkesh Kapadia,
Trustee

Since 1988, Mr. Pinkesh Kapadia is independently operating a Proprietor at Pinkesh Kapadia & Co. The company is a Service Provider of ERP accounting software service, tally accounting software service & busy accounting software service in Mumbai.

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Mr. Ninad Sadvilkar,
Trustee

Hailing from Hotel industry, Mr. Ninad Sadvilkar is the owner of Angrezi Dhaba. The restaurant is one of the most sought-after dining destinations operating in 5 locations in Mumbai.

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Adv. Tushar khandare,
Trustee

An Advocate by profession, Mr Tushar Khandare has been working in the field since 2005. He owns his own law practice called Tushar Khandare & Associates. He is also a member of Anam Prem Parivar, an organisation committed for the development of unprivileged.

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Management

Mrs. Dipti
Gandhi

CEO

Mr. Tejas
Supekar

COO

Mrs. Pushpa Priya Ganesh

Program Coordinator

Mrs. Shubhada
Bhatnagar

Resource Manager

Mrs. Dipti
Gandhi

CEO

Mr. Tejas
Supekar

COO

Mrs. Pushpa Priya Ganesh

Program Coordinator

Mrs. Shubhada
Bhatnagar

Resource Manager

Mr. Santosh
Shetty

Finance Officer

Mrs. Sonam
Ganjale

Centre Head, Bandra

Mrs. Saraswati
Khairmode

Centre Head, BJ Wadia Hospital

Mrs. Dipali
Jadhav

Centre Head, Masina Hospital

Mrs. Bhavika
Kothari

Centre Head, Goregoan

Mr. Santosh
Shetty

Finance Officer

Mrs. Sonam
Ganjale

Centre Head, Bandra

Mrs. Saraswati
Khairmode

Centre Head, BJ Wadia Hospital

Mrs. Dipali
Jadhav

Centre Head, Masina Hospital

Mrs. Bhavika
Kothari

Centre Head, Goregoan

Volunteers/Interns

Muskan Foundation is open to volunteer/ internship associations with students from different establishments, who want to get a practical knowledge of the field. We have had interns/volunteers from various national & international institutions including SNDT, NMIMS and TISS.

Testimonials

Muskan

Mother-Toddler Program

Raj suffered from a brain injury which caused him to become deafblind. When his mother brought Raj to Muskan, she was very worried as Raj being six months old, was not able to bond or respond to her. Raj being a child with deaf-blindness is both visually and hearing impaired. However, Raj has some Residual sight that his teacher made maximum use of by teaching him through sensory activities like touch, smell, and taste.

In one of the activities of the Mother Toddler group, the teacher was singing a song and suddenly he was doing an action that had been taught to him earlier. We are very happy with the progress as he is responding very well and soon he will be advance from the Mother Toddler program to early intervention at Muskan.

Her mother was lost before she came to Muskan, as her child cannot speak nor hear properly. She didn't know how to communicate with the child, how to teach him things. It the mother's responsibility to teach her child and impart her child with knowledge that she has received. However a mother of a child with disability, she was in a pickle as she herself did not have the right knowledge about how to teach her child. Her earlier learnings become redundant as she has not been taught how to deal with a child who is both deaf and blind.

In the Muskan’s Mother Toddler program, we follow a holistic approach where we teach the mother about the disability of her child and the techniques and strategies to deal with her child. The most crucial stage of the development of the brain is between 0-2 years and in Muskan's mother toddler program we take full advantage of it by using a combination of techniques to teach both the Child and the mother.

If Raj had not received the early intervention in Muskan, he would have developed self-stimulating behavior which would have been detrimental to his later learning. He is understanding the world and responding to things that otherwise he would not have responded.

Looking at Raj's progress, her mother insists on the importance of early intervention. She now assures newly enrolled parents about the importance of timely and regular intervention at Muskan.

Her mother says she feels empowered in teaching her child and has become an unspoken ambassador for Muskan's Mother Toddler program.

Early Intervention

Rachel (name changed), is a child with autism and completely blind, came to Muskan for admission when she was hardly two years old. However, at that time her parents were sceptical and didn't admit Rachel at Muskan. After four years, Rachel's speech therapist once again referred her to Muskan. Rachel’s situation was challenging as children with autism are visual learners. When a child can’t see, the next sense we can depend upon to teach them, is touch. However in Rachel's case, she had tactile dysfunction which meant her senses were heightened to the point of discomfort or even pain. As such, Rachel couldn't perform any activity independently, she could only stand and go round in circles. At Muskan, Rachel receives occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, and special education. The combination of therapies and special education has given Rachel the right direction to explore things with her hands and she can even understand the characteristics of objects. With the intervention Rachel receives at Muskan, the integration in her brain which earlier was not happening, is now functioning. After early intervention at Muskan, Rachel can walk on a balance beam, taking the instructions of teachers independently. Where previously she couldn’t understand basic functions, within four months we could see amazing progress. Today she can communicate not only with her mother but she can also follow her teachers' instructions accurately. She has even made a friend at Muskan and has started participating with her in games and activities. Her mother is very happy that she is getting all the therapies under one roof and she can see the real difference in her child. Her mother says, "In hindsight, I should have admitted Rachel much earlier, as an earlier intervention would have had a greater effect on her progress - but better late than never.”

Vision Therapy Enables Mainstream Education

Neeta (name changed) being born prematurely lost most of her vision. Her doctor referred Neeta to Muskan, where we started her vision therapy. At Muskan, a customized program is designed to improve visual skills. With rigorous vision therapy, Neeta's movement of eye and vision perception developed. Gradually she started recognizing objects and her range of vision also increased. We realized that Neeta has good cognition and can be mainstreamed into regular school. When Neeta was admitted into a regular school, she was not able to cope up with other children. Her teacher was not able to understand why Neeta cannot read and write like other children. When Neeta's mother conveyed the problem to Muskan, we designed techniques in her vision therapy to teach her reading and writing.

We saw amazing results as Neeta started reading and writing and was even able to do maths. For a year, Neeta was doing parallel instruction where she would learn both at her Regular school and the school at Muskan. Due to her tremendous progress, we were able to mainstream her into regular school. Today Neeta has become fully independent and, we are constantly in touch with her giving her new strategies to improve her vision.

Speech Therapy Provides Future for Twins

When Deena and Diana came to Muskan they could not swallow nor make any noise to communicate with their mother. Born prematurely, Deena and Diana are twins whose father is a daily wage labourer and the mother is a housewife. When we advised their mother to admit Deena and Diana to Muskan, she was very anxious. As her husband is a daily wage laborer, even with fee concession they could not afford to send their twins to Muskan. They cannot afford to spend money even on travel. However, we realized that Deena and Diana needed Speech Therapy for their survival and development. Hence we gave them travel conveyance along with concession of fees so that Deena and Diana can be avail speech therapy and special education at Muskan.

Initially, we started working on the development of Oro motor skills which means to develop muscle inside the mouth so that they can swallow. Our Speech therapist gave them a home program where we gave them a toothbrush to sensitize the mouth. We are at the augmentative communication stage where we teach speech using pictures, sign language, and other methods. Today Deena and Diana can understand objects, alphabets and even understand words via pictures. Reaching the augmentative communication stage was important as the next step is the development of speech. We are eager to hear the first words of our twins and we are sure with Speech Therapy we will hear them soon.

Physiotherapy Enables Movement for Michael

John (name changed) is a child of intellectual impairment with low vision impairment and locomotive disability. John’s disabilities were so challenging that he required multiple therapies at the same time. His parents used to shuffle from one therapist to the other which placed severe financial stress on the parents. John was referred to Muskan by a hospital. Since John belong from low-income group, his parents couldn't afford the fees, therefore we enrolled him in our sponsorship program where his education and his therapies are sponsored by SBI Life Insurance. At Muskan, John’s needs were meet, wherein he received all the therapies under one roof. The combination of therapies and special education has positively impacted John’s development. Today he can sit and can use his hands independently. This was only possible due to the partnership of SBI Life Insurance with Muskan Foundation. By Supporting Muskan’s center at Goregaon, SBI Life is giving new lease of lives to children like John who weren’t able to access right opportunities.

Occupational Therapy Helps with Daily Living

Sameer (name changed) is a child of slow learner with vision impairment. Sameer’s developments’ is significantly slower than his peers. He also requires vision therapies in order to develop his vision. As this is a very challenging combination of disabilities, no school was ready to accept Sameer as they said they cannot teach him. Sameer was referred to Muskan Foundation by BJ Wadia Hospital. In Muskan, Sameer received special education wherein an Individualised Education plan was created by our Multidisciplinary team based on his needs. He is also receiving vision therapy which aided him to develop his ability to read and write. Due to the combination of therapy and special education, Sameer is growing positively in Muskan Foundation. He can read, write and also solve math problems. He is an enthusiastic child who loves to participates in all activities. When his father saw Sameer read for the first time, he was in tears as he never thought his child will be able to read after receiving so many rejections. We are grateful to Dalal Family Foundation who have been instrumental in supporting Special Education and Vision Rehabilitation Program at Muskan’s center in BJ Wadia Hospital. Sameer is growing positively and he will soon appear for Open schooling examination which is one step closer to Sameer completing his high school education.