Suraksha inaugurates Speech therapy and Vocational training programs in Srikakulam, AP in association with Sumitra Welfare Society. R. Sailaja who is a speech therapy specialist with a degree in ASLP (Audiology, Speech and Language Pathology) will be working with the girls using the Audiometers and Speech Trainers. Suraksha Founder and President, Raj Gorla in his address to the girls and the local community committed to unending support in their quest to overcome the barriers of silence and convert their liabilities into strengths. Suraksha is also sponsoring a vocational trainer, G. Mohini who will be teaching tailoring and embroidery on the machines provided by Suraksha. Other vocational training programs in Arts & Crafts, Candle Making and Computers are in the works. District Collector and Magistrate, Saurabh Gaur who was the chief guest for the event assured complete cooperation from the State Administration and also allotted funds to improve existing infrastructure and equipment at the institute. Suraksha also made a case for the inclusion of Cochlear Implants in the “Arogya Sri” Statewide Public Insurance coverage for the The District Collector also promised that children with substantial hearing loss will be funded by State programs to get Cochlear Implants, a procedure wherein a small, complex electronic device consisting of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin is implanted that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf. Suraksha also committed to provide scholarships for girls keen on higher education in Audiology and Special Education at National Institute of Hearing Handicapped (NIHH) in Hyderabad AP
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Suraksha is partnering with the state run ICDS ( Integrated Child Development Services) to sponsor Math, Science and English teachers for multiple orphanages run by ICDS in coastal Andhra Pradesh, India. Suraksha’s President Raj Gorla who earlier committed to sponsor new teachers for the ICDS orphanages, introduced the Math, Science and English teachers to the girl students at “Bala Sadanam” orphanage in Bhimli, A.P and encouraged them to utilize this opportunity to score good grades in the upcoming exams. Suraksha’s volunteers also distributed chocolates and cookies among the girls to celebrate the New Year and the holiday season.
Shanti Ashram “School for the Hearing Impaired” ( also known as Omkar Lions School for Deaf) is the only school for Deaf and Mute children for Vizag Region. Here out of 180 total students only 22 of them are girls which highlights the gender inequity and the reluctance of parents of handicapped girls to send their daughters to school.
Suraksha is providing specialized training to these girl students in the areas of tailoring/sewing, pottery, artificial flower making, Beautician (Mehendi/Henna) etc to enable these girls to be gainfully employed upon graduation. We coordinate with local companies and organizations who can use these skills. Suraksha also sponsors hearing aids and school supplies for these girls.
Suraksha’s first project was holding a medical camp for all the children at the Indira Nagar Slum in Vizag in December 2008. We identified 32 children (0-5 yrs) in the Indira Nagar Slum in Vizag in December 2008 who were malnourished and/or have severe medical issues. All the families were given “Suraksha Medical Cards” so that each child will have access to an individual volunteer. The children were supplied with high-nutrient ladoos made of powdered groundnuts, barley and jaggery. These sweet tasting food supplements contain essential nutrients that provide proteins, iron and calcium.
We have had 14 monthly nutrition camps since that day and in the latest medical check up, several kids have shown improvement in height/weight ratios, Iron, Calcium and Vitamin A contents. The instances of immediate medical need were rare but in those cases, the children were taken to the local doctors by our volunteers immediately. We continue to monitor these kids and also the new babies/lactating mothers in this slum. We have held Adult Education and Women’s Rights Awareness programs. We are hoping to replicate our success in Indira Nagar in other slums of the city. We have held a medical/nutrition camp at ASR Nagar slum and have started supporting ICDS/Anganwadi Classroom efforts in this slum.