ICANFLYY: Where dreams come true
ICANFLYY, a vocational and skill building institute for differently abled individuals, trains its students as per their capabilities and later employs them in a nested workplace.
Like every other parent Minu Budhia, a Psychotherapist, was concerned about her child's well being and future. Hence, she came up with an innovative idea – ICANFLYY, a vocational and skill building institute for special needs individuals – to empower not only her own daughter but every other child with special needs.
"What will my daughter do when she grows up? How will she be occupied? This was a big concern at the back of my mind. Like Prachi, all special needs young adults in Kolkata do not have much to do after they finish their schooling. So I came up with this idea for ICANFLYY to empower special needs young adults who, like you or me, deserve a place in society" said Minu Budhia, Psychotherapist, Counsellor and Founder – Director of ICANFLYY, a vocational and skill building institute for special needs individuals.
Minu Budhia's younger daughter Prachi is the inspiration behind ICANFLYY. Diagnosed with ADHD, low IQ, and Bipolar disorder, Prachi was having a difficult time settling in at a regular school. As a mother, Minu was not only concerned about her daughter's time at school, but also her future.
Looking for answers, Minu travelled the world and educated herself in the field of special education and psychology. Envisioning a better, brighter future for her child and others like her, Minu Budhia established ICANFLYY – a place where you can be who you are and all that you want to be.
ICANFLYY can train its students to be as independent as their capabilities allow and employ them in a nested workplace. Some can even be gainfully employed in a corporate setup. In fact, there should be a quota for them like there is in more developed countries. It is our joint responsibility to accept special needs individuals and give them suitable jobs – Minu said. This thought gives birth to ICANFLYY. Down Syndrome, Autism, Learning Disabilities, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Challenges, ADHD, etc. are some of the special needs that the institute caters to. Here the focus is on giving every student space where he or she will be accepted, appreciated, and educated and be a part of a community that is open, non-judgemental, and embraces the idea that being different does not make one less of an individual. In an era of challenges and cut-throat competition, it's the aim of the institute to enable its students to face the world with self-confidence and honesty. In addition to vocational training, ICANFLYY aims at overall holistic development where physical, mental, and aesthetic aspects are addressed.
Training special needs students is complex and the team of experienced, skilled, and passionate special educators and vocational trainers of ICANFLYY rise to the challenge every time. They are not only teachers but also friends, philosophers, and guides. ICANFLYY began its journey as a unit of Caring Minds and then moved into its new stand-alone premises spread across five floors at 4B Valmikee Street, Kolkata - 700026 (near Maddox Square).
"Special children do not usually have too many options at their disposal after the initial education bit is done. Empowering and training them to lead independent lives was the need of the hour, and for that, it was important to have the right kind of space. Each floor of this building is dedicated to a particular skill set and function, along with early intervention and pre-vocational programmes. We have tried to keep the institute as vibrant as possible. I want this to be a place where children and people with special needs feel comfortable in and look forward to coming to," said Minu Budhia.
The institute has been successfully running a programme for special needs young adults aged 15+. From March 2018 a new wing will cater to special needs children between the ages of six and fourteen. Children between the ages of six and nine join the Twinkling Stars programme, children between the ages of 10 and 14 join the Rising Stars programme and teenagers who are 15+ join the Superstar programme. There is no upper age limit and at present, the older students of the institute are in their early to mid-thirties.
It has also started an Academic Assistance Programme. In a regular classroom, children learn at different rates, some slower than the others. To help such students with additional learning needs, ICANFLYY now offers one-on-one academic assistance.
Vocational Training: Training modules are tailored to the unique needs of each student. Its unparalleled on-site job training equips students to work independently in a home set-up or under minimal supervision at various workplaces.
Bakery Prep and Packaging: At the Food Factory, the students get an opportunity to bring out the chef inside.
Digital Studio: Its state-of-the-art computer lab is full of resources that enable to make its students tech savvy.
Data Entry: It welcomes corporate houses, small businesses and individuals to outsource their data entry needs.
Art and Craft Studio: The Art and Craft studio at ICANFLYY is taking creativity to a new level. You can get handcrafted gifts for any and every occasion. Unique bookmarks, gift bags and tags, coasters and more are designed and created by its talented special needs individuals at
As the name says ICANFLYY, these individuals can fly higher and higher, and touch the zenith.