Mumbai: Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) and Society of Parents of Children with Autistic Disorders (SOPAN) announced the launch of Shanay Autism Resource Centre (“Shanay”/“Centre”) – a Centre for training and rehabilitation of individuals with autism and associated disabilities, located at New Panvel, Maharashtra. Shri Atul Bhatkhalkar, Hon’ble MLA, Kandivali East, Mumbai, and Shri Prashant Thakur, Hon’ble MLA, Panvel, Navi Mumbai, inaugurated Shanay recently.
Under its CSR Project on Education and Livelihood, KMBL has partnered with the Society of Parents of Children with Autistic Disorders (SOPAN) to create Shanay – an autism service facility, which is one of its kind in the country. The Centre includes Samarpan – a school and skill-building unit, Saesha – a respite care facility, and Suvidya – College of Special Education, to train teachers by conducting teacher preparation programmes that will enable teachers to work with children with autism and related disabilities at New Panvel.
Individuals with autism often face challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and non-verbal communication. At Shanay, SOPAN will provide comprehensive services to support the rehabilitation of people with autism in the society, which includes early intervention, detection and remedial services, vocational skilling, a respite care unit, and a human resource development unit focusing on teacher training and research.
Shanay Autism Resource Centre offers the following facilities:
- A respite care unit to provide temporary 24×7 care service for persons with disability
- A special school equipped with diagnostic, assessment, early intervention services; adaptive physical education and games; music and movement training; and guidance and counseling. The school has skill building for adolescents and young adults with autism and associated disabilities.
- A human resource development section to prepare teachers at pre-service and in-service levels. The focus here is to enable inclusive education and to document and conduct researches in the field of autism.
Rohit Rao, Joint President & Group Chief CSR Officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank said, “Shanay is born out of the pressing needs of children dealing with autism and the felt needs of their parents. While there is no cure for autism, its early treatment can make a huge difference in the life of the child. Shanay denotes the first rays of the sun and also symbolises the power of Lord Shani, the son of Surya. Our motto is to spread brightness in the lives of these children and their parents. Shanay will help develop social skills and self-care in autistic children. Experts at Shanay impart knowledge and skills pertaining to autism-specific teaching and management strategies to the parents.”
Shoba Srivastava, one of the Founder Trustees of SOPAN said, “Despite delays and challenges because of COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdowns, we are proud to present Shanay to you – a research centre equipped with the latest diagnostic and treatment facilities. Shanay will also serve as a common meeting ground for autistic kids and their parents to discuss their challenges with our well-trained teachers. We thought of building Shanay because our society requires more training facilities and resources to support children with autism and their families. We are grateful to Kotak Mahindra Bank for partnering with us to build Shanay.”