What is Jaiswal Caste

Disability with Dignity: Practical Child Rehabilitation in India


For several years now, together with my wife Christin and a multi-professional team, I have been supporting the work of Bharat Pyara (Friends of India), who among other things support disabled and non-disabled orphans in Andra Pradesh. Care, food, clothing, and education give these children dignity and hope for their future. Thanks to this support, they have the chance to escape the spiral of poverty and manage their lives self-effectively. In many cases these are children from families of the casteless (dalits) or the lowest caste families.

In 2014 we paid our first visit to the orphans in the pastor's family in Andra Pradesh. During this visit we came into contact with the work of Sarah’s Covenant Home (SCH) in Ongole and Hyderabad for the benefit of abandoned disabled children http://www.schindia.com. This work was founded in 2008 by Sarah Rebbavarapu on the basis of basic Christian values. Around 150 children are currently being looked after in a small group setting. Around half - mostly younger children - are in the SCH in Hyderabad.

Support Institution Based Rehabilitation 2014-2020:

When visiting the Government Children's Orphanage in Hyderabad, we were touched by the plight of the children. Because of their handicap, these children were abandoned somewhere on the roadside, in train stations or in the trash can and were taken to this orphanage if anyone found them. For lack of staff and resources, the children lay left to themselves on the floor, stereotypically turning their heads and bodies from side to side. We were allowed to admit two children, one with severe dystrophy who suffered from symptoms of deprivation, and one child with hydrocephalus as part of a spina bifida with a shunt in need of revision and a urinary tract infection. Both received medical help and are now doing very well. They literally blossomed in the SCH.

Back in Switzerland we reported on our experiences. We were surprised by the positive response, on the one hand from the employees of the KER Center (Center for Child Neurology, Development and Rehabilitation) of the Children's Hospital in Eastern Switzerland and, on the other hand, from the employees of the neighboring institutions such as the CP School St. Gallen and the Kronbühl Foundation. As a result, we put together an interdisciplinary team of twelve people who worked in the SCH for two weeks in July 2015. As part of this interdisciplinary collaboration, each team member contributed his or her technical experience, and at the same time we expanded our horizons. The result was numerous assessments of children in the SCH with regard to support and therapy measures. Funding plans were drawn up, and simple aids (seat fittings, mobility aids) were produced. In addition, nutritional instructions for swallowing disorders, instructions for curative educational group work, storage instructions with photographs to hang up, nursing and medical recommendations were developed. In addition, simple measures such as the improvement of hygiene, protection and the training of caregivers (Ayah's) were planned, as well as the establishment of a local medical network in the relevant specialist disciplines.