ROSHNI was established in 1998 to provide much needed educational and therapy services to children and young adults with cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, autism and other forms of neurological disability. It is based in Gwalior, a small city in northern India. Before ROSHNI was opened, people had to travel 5 hours to Delhi to receive similar services. Most were unable to afford this option.
ROSHNI serves over 1000 people with disabilities, from Gwalior and many surrounding towns and villages who do not have any services in their own area. Many of the beneficiaries live in extreme poverty. ROSHNI provides services in their centre, in local schools, outreach centres, and visits the villages from time to time to offer services to those unable to reach Gwalior.
Roshni run many projects, including the Early Intervention Group for children aged 1-5, Primary Group for children unable to access mainstream education, the Vocational Training Group for adults learning to make handicrafts and paper products in order to earn an income. They also provide a range of therapies – Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy through local staff, consultant therapists, and volunteers from the UK.
ROSHNI also run regular training programmes, for parents and families, community workers, mainstream school teachers, and medical professionals. They place a lot of emphasis on raising the awareness of disability rights and issues, for example with local politicians, doctors, and employers.
Roshni is not a residential school. The staff work hard to ensure families are fully equipped to meet their children’s needs at home, while providing the specialist education and therapy they need during the school day.