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21 years of empowering the specially-abled

21 years of empowering the specially-abled

It's been 21 years that Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN), one of India's largest school for specially-abled, has been enabling the 'children with special needs'. To commemorate the achievement, the school celebrated its 21st Annual Day on February 26. MBCN works under the aegis of The Ponty Chadha Foundation that works towards the social and economic development of the society.

On occasion and in the presence of Guest of Honour Dr Nimesh G Desai, Director Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), Delhi and Som Prakash, Union Minister of State Commerce and Industry, GOI, Ex IAS Punjab, MP from Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha BJP, the school launched the iOS version of 'Vaakya', a picture based AAC (augmentative and alternate communication) mobile app designed for people who are speech impaired or affected by autism, cerebral palsy and various other mental and physical conditions.

The app can be customised by the user according to their special needs and doesn't rely on internet connectivity. Multiple user accounts can be created by adding multiple students/patients to the application with unique actions and speech specifications as per individual users. The speech associated with actions can be recorded and played back in any language, providing greater

flexibility. The app is available on Google Play Store for free of cost.

To reach the wider audience and relevant users, the school organised orientation programs for various developmental centres and exhibitions globally like NIEMD (National Institute For Empowerment Of Persons With Multiple Disabilities) - Chennai, Ananth Centre For Learning And Development - Delhi, INSAR (International Society for Autism Research )CANADA.

Talking about the annual day Manpreet Singh Chadha, Chairman, Wave Group said, "It gives me immense pleasure in launching the iOS version of VAAKYA, our initiative will reach more people and it will help the specially-abled in communicating efficiently. We believe that our recent initiatives will give an impetus to our on-going efforts in bringing vital changes to the lives of hundreds of specially-abled

children. It is our endeavour that with each initiative we move closer to Gurdeep Singh Chadha's vision of creating an environment where people with special needs could become socially and economically independent.

The school also launched 'Department of Behavioural

Sciences' to address the intellectual disabilities affecting individual's everyday life. Intellectual disability is the impairment of general mental abilities which affects an individual's functioning in everyday life

posing a high risk of psychiatric

disorders. Its prevalence is as high as 40.9 per cent based on clinical diagnosis, most common are the behavioural

problems, followed by mood

disorders, anxiety and psychosis.

Speaking on the occasion,

Vandana Sharma Director & Principal, MBCN said "We strive hard each day to empower and make our students independent. As we

celebrate 21 wonderful years of this great institution, we have undertaken some very innovative methods to bring the specially-abled children into the mainstream. With 'Vaakya' and the launch of the 'Department of Behavioural Sciences', we aim to

further bring assistance in the lives of the specially-abled. We will

continue to channelise our efforts towards empowering them."

With dance performances and other programmes highlighting the theme – Har Rang Kuch Kehta Hai, the students enthralled the parents and guests. The school felicitated the teachers for their contributions and students' for their

achievements in various national and international competitions and sports tournaments.

The Ponty Chadha Foundation was set-up in the memory of Late Chairman Gurdeep Singh Chadha of the WAVE Group, led by his wife Jatinder Kaur Chadha to work for the general welfare of the society. It aims to channelise its capabilities towards social and economic development of the society at large and help the underprivileged and weaker sections of the society.

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