ASTHA Project

 

New Delhi

This is the capital city of India. As the national capital, New Delhi is the seat of executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the Government of India. It also serves as the centre of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi and is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory

What is a slum?
According to the UN HABITAT (part of the United Nations), a simple definition of a slum would be “a heavily populated urban area characterised by substandard housing and squalor”. A further UN group goes on to say that slums typically have the following characteristics: inadequate access to safe water, inadequate sanitation and other infrastructure, poor structural quality of housing, overcrowding and insecure residential status.
This is certainly true of the majority of Delhi’s slums. The city’s population is over 14 million. More than 4 million of these people live in slum colonies that are chronically overcrowded and lack even the most basic amenities. Although India’s economy is growing and millions are prospering, the benefits do not reach the slum dwellers and the gap between rich and poor is growing ever wider.

Rapid population growth
In 1947, 2 million people lived in Delhi. Now there are 6 times as many inhabitants, and the city’s infrastructure is unable to cope with the strain of so many people. Meanwhile, population growth all over India restricts the number of jobs and opportunities available and people still expect to find a better life in the big cities.

Women and children in particular face severe difficulties in gaining access to basic facilities including health services, clean water and education. They rarely leave their homes, lack confidence and have nobody to turn to for advice or help.

ASHTA Project

This is a centre for children with special needs and has 27 children who are given rehabilitation services. Most of these children belong to the low economic strata and the organization sponsors their transportation and fees through sponsorships and donors.
The centre moved to a new building in Giri Nagar in New Delhi. The building had four rooms and a courtyard. Besides this the OPD services and the information cell and help-line is also housed in the same building.
As can be seen this was insufficient for the children.
During the course of a normal working day furniture had to be arranged and re-arranged and space created for the various activities. There was no separate space for physiotherapy or counselling. At times, weather permitting, physiotherapy sessions were even held in the yard under the tree.

But with Delhi weather being too hot or too cold this was also not an option that one could always use. The centre tries to provide a quality, holistic service but this got strained at times. They could have a physiotherapy session going on in the yard under the tree along with a parent counselling session going on in the corner of the yard.
The centre was looking for financial assistance to build more rooms that will be used to provide services for children with disabilities.
•     Physiotherapy room
•     Counselling room
•     Speech therapy room.
Their plan was to construct rooms on the first floor and cover an area of 500 square foot.  The approximate cost of construction was €10 per square foot = € 5,000
TOUCH Ireland donated this €5,000.00 to the centre for construction of new rooms.

As promised they built a room in the courtyard at the back. they were not able to build on the first floor because the state government who had leased them the space on the ground floor, built rooms for another NGO on the first floor and gave it to them. The cost incurred in building an extra room for working with children including a disabled friendly toilet was the €5,000 thousand which had been donated by Touch Ireland.

The new Extension funded by TOUCH Ireland

Workshops on various disabilities
Training has always been one of ASTHA’s strengths as quite a few of the staff have been trainers before joining us.
Due to the new extension ASTHA was able to conduct a series of workshops on Locomotor Disability, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, Learning and Multiple Disability for parents of children with disability and community-based workers from ASTHA.
The focus of the workshops was to provide a common baseline of information on different disabilities for the participants and to help them identify and develop a system of referrals in the field. A total of 124 participants attended the workshops

 

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