OUR WORK : A word about the organization
Pragati Kendra is a NGO established to rehabilitate the mentally challenged children and to enable them to lead an independent life. To fulfil Meera’s dream who was a “special child” Smt Shakuntala Athlye started “Meera Vidyalaya” on 23rd April 1978 under the umbrella of “Pragati Kendra”, with a foresight of helping many more such children in the future. The school was started at Dadar Bhagini Samaj and continued to be there for around one and a half year. Later on it was moved to a garage in Hindu colony. In the year 1980 Meera Vidyalaya got a new address. Municipal Officer Mr. Chaugule and the ex-mayor Mr. Divakar Rawate extended their kind cooperation and allotted six rooms on rent and Meera Vidyalaya started working in a Marathi Primary School on Telang Road at Matunga, Mumbai – 19. Smt. Shakuntala Athlye planted a seedling which has now turned into a huge tree. This school has been working for the last 38 years and has been instrumental in helping many mentally challenged children adapt to the mainstream of society.
At present Meera Vidyalaya is providing free education/training to 45 students in the age group of 5 to 18 and an I.Q. ranging from 30 to 70. An elaborate curriculum has been devised to develop different skills such as – Motor Skill, Self help skill, psycho-social skill, cognitive skill and communication skill. Apart from this they receive training in music, dance, yoga, drawing, handicrafts, elocution, dramatics and sports which helps their overall development. To develop all the above skills help is extended by a team of skilled doctors, vocational experts, psychologist, occupational therapist etc.
In order to improve the health of our students good nutritious food like milk, fruits, chikki, salads etc. is provided to them under the guidance of the medical officer.
The persistent efforts of the teachers and the hardwork of our students has lead them to brighten India’s name all over the world. For instance in the speical Olympics held at Indiana, USA in the year 1987, Sanjay Masurkar from our school won bronze medal in free style swimming. In 1993, Vijay Chavan was selected in the Indian Team as goal keeper for the floor hockey match held in Austria. India won the Gold and Vijay was awarded for his special contribution as the goal keeper. In 2009 a snow shoeing competition was held in Idaho, USA. Pinky Sunil from our school won the Gold medal although she was not much trained and hardly got 8 days time to practise in Shimla prior to this competition.
Thus by winning a number of National and International awards in many competitions our children have really done India proud.
A special vocational training centre has been set up now at Murlidhar Mandir, Sion. Students above 18 years are taught working on the flour mill to grind various special flours, and are also trained in embroidery, knitting, making artificial flowers, greeting cards, gift envelops, handmade paper bags, liquid soap, phenyl etc. They also make Rakhis, Gudhis, Diyas, Torans etc. as per the festival.
In the year 2015 Pragati Kendra had to face a big blow. The school building at Matunga was demolished for redevelopment and since then the school is operating in two different premises, one being Murlidhar Mandir at Sion and the other at KC Matunga School. This has caused a lot of inconvenience and hence we are trying very hard to acquire better and larger spaces preferably in Dadar, Matunga or Sion for operating the school under one roof.
It is a unique scheme whereby we want people to get more involved with our activity. A payment of Rs.1800/- will entitle the donor to get products wroth Rs.300/- in every two months. The products will be delivered at home or in your office as per your instructions. The choice of products will be form various flours, dry snacks, domestic disinfectants, liquid detergent, gift envelops, gift folder sets, clotch bags etc. and as per season Gudhi, Rakhi, decorative diyas.
Our children come from economically backward class. We do not charge them any fees. We provide them school bags, uniforms nutritious snacks. Some children are extremely weak and we even provide them a glass of milk and banana with protein powder on coming to school everyday. The expense per child is Rs.2500/- per year. for the last few years, many have sponsored our children and the benefits have been obvious. We will give you the details of your MUSKAAN child at the end of academaic year; with copy of the annual progress report along with his/her photograph.
We provide mid day meals to all children. Many persons sponsor a day’s meal to celebrate their birthdays, anniversaries or in memory of their beloved onces.