Centre for Rehabilitation of the Disabled

 

The Centre: The Centre for Rehabilitation of the Disabled (CRD), is one of the charitable institutions of the Charitable Society of the South Kerala Diocese. Established in April 1974 with five children, this home is for the total rehabilitation of cerebral palsy and polio-affected boys and girls The Centre also has a Community Rehabilitation Programme in the coastal areas of Trivandrum for the rehabilitation of disabled children. a Community Outreach Programme designed to deliver services to disabled people in their own communities and an Early Intervention Program for children in the surrounding community.

The Children: There are over 180 children, from 5 to 17 years old, in the CRD home.They have been selected without distinction of caste, creed, or religion, but preference is given to the poorest of the poor. They live in a family atmosphere with the older children helping with the care of the younger.

The Purpose of the Home: The CRD provides a well-balanced diet, good clothes, and a nurturing atmosphere in a familial environment to help the children develop into happy, well-adjusted members of society. Through physiotherapy, education, recreation, vocational guidance programmes and extracurricular activities, the Home provides for the total development of their personalities. Instruction in various vocational trades is given to help them lead independent lives when they reach adulthood. The Home has been able to rehabilitate hundreds of cerebral palsy and polio-affected children thus far, and its alumni include those who have found employment in the government and private sectors (see Newsletter).

Cerebral Palsy Early Intervention Program: This is a recent endeavor of the CRD to benefit children between the ages of 1 and 5. Parents bring their children for physiotherapy on a bi-weekly basis free of charge. The Centre provides rehabilitation services like physical therapy, speech therapy as well as awareness sessions for parents. Given our limited facilities, the program has been able to enroll only 12 children, though the need is far greater.

Physiotherapy Department: The CRD strives to maintain a well-equipped physiotherapy facility for training children with poliomyelitis. The physiotherapist treats children with various disabilities, prescribing and adapting the right walking aids for each child. The department also provides for pre-operative and post-operative physiotherapy. It is equipped with various physiotherapeutic modalities including a tilt table, rower cycle, hanging bar, exercise pulleys, dumb-bells, weight belts, static cycle, parallel bars, and ultrasound. Regular assessment of the children is done to record their improvement.

Ortho-Splint Workshop: An ortho-splint workshop runs under the direction of the Physiotherapy Department. Five qualified technicians are employed full-time to meet meet the orthodic needs of the children. All the walking aids necessary for the children are manufactured here. We also extend a helping hand to the public by giving walking aids at a subsidised rate.

Speech Therapy: Since the addition of 87 children with cerebral palsy, we have expanded our program to include this area of therapy as well.


The School: The CRD Home runs its own school. The school is fully operational with full-time staff conducting classes from 1st standard to SSLC. Since its inception, the school has had a 100% pass-rate in SSLC, a rare feat for a Malayalam (local language) medium school. The staff consists of a headmistress and twelve teachers.

Pre-Vocational Training: For the benefit of our children with cerebral palsy, we have begun a program of vocational training in tailoring in order to increase their self-sufficiency in adulthood.

The Lighthouse: This is the CRD children's library containing over 13 thousand books, seventy-five percent of which have been donated by private individuals, institutions, and other libraries. The latest dictionaries, encylopedias, magazines, and English and Malayalam newspapers are available there as well as a photocopier. The Lighthouse is open to children from the surrounding community as well.


The Roosevelt Computer Centre: The Computer Training Centre was set up in 1993 and named after the U.S. president who was also afflicted with polio. With over a dozen computers, students can take computer courses and earn diplomas that are recognised by the government of India. The classes are available not only to the CRD children but also to physically handicapped persons from the surrounding community.

The Wheelchair Brass Band: The CRD's band, made up entirely of our children, is probably the only one of its kind in the country. The instruments were donated by Kindernothilfe and uniforms are made locally. The band master comes a minimum of one a week to direct the enthusiasm from cacophony to melody.

 

 

The Faculty and Staff:
The faculty and staff at the CRD Home consists of a team of qualified and dedicated people under the guidance of the Director, Mrs. Helen Azariah. Its personnel includes a senior warden and two assistant wardens, a full-time physiotherapist, and social worker.

 

 

The Director: Yielding to the tremendous pressure brought to bear upon her by the well-wishers of the CRD, Mrs. Helen Azariah, wife of the late Dr. I. Azariah, is continuing his work as the Hon. Director of this institution. The daughter of Mrs. and Rev. J.A. Jacob, Mrs. Helen Azariah had a brilliant academic career in science, and had a stint of professorship for a short period of time. She has been serving as the Honorary Manager of the Christian Hostel for Working Women. All the children and the members of the staff of the CRD wholeheartedly wish her success in her work as the new Director of this institution. Under her leadership the CRD has begun two new projects:for children with cerebral palsy: The Early Intervention Program and Pre-Vocaltional Training.

 

Dr. Isaiah Azariah, "our friend, philosopher and guide," the Honorary Director of the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled from 1997 to 2005, passed away on the 27th of January 2005. A retired Professor of History, Fulbright Scholar, founder of the South Asia Chapter of the Association of Third World Studies and liaison for the Albany Medical Mission Team, he had worked tirelessly to expand and upgrade the facilities of the CRD so that the children would have the best educational and therapeutical resources available. His charitable devotion and service was incomparable, and his love for the children was matched only by his fervor that every provision be made to give them, by God's grace, "a future and a hope." The light of his zeal continues to guide the CRD and will live on in all those whose lives he has touched with gratitude and deep affection.

 

The Founder: Dr. S. Jones was the first Honorary Director of the CRD, or the Polio Home as it was known then. He was a distinguished marine biologist who contracted polio a few years before his retirement. Instead of enjoying his well-earned rest, he launched himself with tireless energy and dedication to found a home which was to be a home and not an institution. The result of his work is here for all to see. Although he is no longer with us - he died in 1997 - his spirit remains in every corner of the CRD Home and in the heart of every child he guided into adulthood.
The Future of the CRD Home: As the polio eradication programme of the Government of India takes effect, there are fortunatley fewer victims of polio. For that reason we have turned our attention and experience to helping cerebral palsy children. We are now accepting children with mild cerebral palsy.

Newsletter: The CRD has a regular newsletter.
Click on the link below to view the most recent.

For all inquiries, please contact us, or write to:
The Director,
Centre for Rehabilitation of the Disabled,
LMS Compound
Trivandrum - 695 033
Kerala, India

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