The Fight for Education of Children with disabilities in India | Story of Shadaf

 Fight for Education of Children with disabilities in India | Story of Shadaf | idream education

More than 20% of the poor population of the world is disabled. Children with disabilities in India rarely go beyond primary education because of a lack of resources in rural areas. This further alleviates issues like limited employment opportunities resulting in lack of growth.

Filling the Gap

Several efforts are being made across the country to ensure that special children are involved in the mainstream education system and can have access to growth opportunities like every other student. Through the efforts of various foundations, Rotary School for Special Children in Panvel, Mumbai has seen several infrastructural changes over the years; all designed to make life and learning easy for special students. 

Outbreak of pandemic affected the overall learning of children with disabilities. They had absolutely no support at home to continue their learning. Unfortunately, there isn’t much digital content that exists online which can suit their style of learning. It was at this juncture that we got into a discussion with a NGO, to empower students with OFFLINE access to digital content to meet the specific learning needs of children on their personalised devices. As a result, to enable access to enjoyable and personalised learning content, we provided Learning Tablets to all the students of Rotary School. 

During the implementation of the entire project we interacted with many students of the school but one student who amused us with his growth was Shadaf. Let us walk you through his journey of learning on a tablet shared by his mother.  

Never Give Up Attitude: Story of Shadaf 

The growth of Shadaf, a six-year-old studying in class 2, is evidence of how he started enjoying learning through tablets in a non-judgemental environment. 

“He is a curious learner who came out of his resentment in very little time with his strong willpower”, said Shadaf’s Mother.

The growth of Shadaf, a six-year-old studying in class 2, is evidence of how he started enjoying learning through tablets in a non-judgemental environment. “He is a curious learner who came out of his resentment in very little time with his strong willpower”, said Shadaf’s Mother.

child experiencing hearing loss since birth, fought his battle to learn on his own through an educational tablet
Shadaf, a 6-Year-old child experiencing hearing loss since birth, fought his battle to learn on his own through an educational tablet

His mother, trying to pull him out of resentment.

She says a lot of hard work is required to be put in to educate child experinncing hearing loss. I was stressed for years when Shadaf used to put his efforts to learn and be like every other kid but never succeeded. He just used to watch YouTube cartoon videos or TV to build an interactive relationship. This always bothered me because, being a mother, I wanted my child to grow and be a part of this world despite his disability. But, I couldn’t ever force him to study because repeating everything becomes irritating. The tablets given in school were a blessing to my child where:

  •  I saw him studying on his own through multiple digital content categories such as videos, assessments,, and books. 
  • Shadaf switched from mobile and TV videos, and now he sits with educational tablets for hours and continuously writes or draws as shown on the tablet.
  • He sees video lessons and tries to speak like the people in those video lessons.
  • He also asks me to make him understand a few stories and talk about them in his language. 

With learning tablets, I saw a life in my child, life in his voice, life in his actions, and most of all, zeal to grow and stand up like every other kid in this world

-Shadaf’s Mother

Now, let’s know the views of teachers of the Rotary school 

Teaching children with disabilities requires teachers to put unique efforts to keep students engaged like developing an innovative approach of reading, story telling and many more such efforts. The teachers of Rotary School specified that digital learning material in the form of inspirational stories, video lessons, books, and conceptual videos are an attractive form of learning and have motivated our special students resulting in overall personality development. The students now have started coming to school regularly. 

Opinion of teachers over Shadaf’s growth:

  • He has started putting pressure on his senses to communicate. This we noticed when he played a video lesson and tried speaking in the first instance. 
  • We were also amazed by the usage report of Shadaf that showed his 100 % engagement in lessons, experimental videos, and inspirational stories. 

Consequently, Shadaf can now talk to some extent through students engaging content in learning tablets. 

We are fortunate that our children got a chance to live their calibre and explore their potential

-Teachers of Rotary School



In last we would to summarise by stating that,

The lack of resources is one big obstruction to education and growth opportunities to children with disabilities. But, the selfless efforts of Shadaf’s mother and teachers in Rotary are the biggest inspiration for the people across India not to let any child feel any less. Also, helping children with disabilities gave us a sense of belonginess and also motivated them to learn and grow. 

“It feels fulfilling to bring a ray of hope to the gloomy lives of children”

If in case you would like to support children like Shadaf, write to us at share@idreameducation.org. You can also leave your comments below, and we will be happy to get back to you. And if you have any similar story or a case study to share with us, please let us know. It would be wonderful to learn and continue to improve the experience of our students and teachers.

Author Details
Co-Founder , iDream Education

Rohit Prakash is a co-founder of iDream Education. For 14+ years, he has been working on sustainable initiatives to promote the environment and education. His vision is to facilitate unlimited access to learning and growth for all learners, including the last mile learners. 

At iDream Education, Rohit heads the product development and manages the teams across operations, tech-ops, HR and marketing. 

He likes to travel, read biographies, listen to Bollywood music and strongly believes in building a sustainable world. 

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