HBPV is the only special school in the area. Before it was set up, Kanailal, a former teacher himself, and his friends decided to understand the needs of special children. A door-to-door survey in New Barrackpore and adjoining areas revealed that most special children never had the opportunity to go to school. Some came from very modest economic backgrounds and couldn't afford expensive special schools in the city.
Kanailal approached the state government's education department for academic affiliation and funding in 1996-97. But no help was forthcoming. However, Kanailal didn't give up. He met teachers and special educators. His team also trained at the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, to understand the teaching processes appropriate for special children. Finally, in 1997, the school started functioning. "Whether it was a godsend or not I don't know, but at the start itself, I managed to get a team of dedicated special educators. They are working despite being paid a paltry salary," says Datta.
The school finally got academic affiliation in 2004-05. But funds were hard to come by. Kanailal approached the central government's social welfare department which has a scheme for special education. But their application was rejected on the ground that the word 'pratibandhi' or 'disabled' was not stated in the school objectives. Also, the school did not function out of a permanent building. When it became clear that no governmental aid was forthcoming unless HBPV had its own building, Kanailal built one with the help of donations from well-wishers. Today, the school has 89 special students.
HBPV stresses on vocational training. They teach book-binding, tailoring, incense stick-making and needle-work. Apart from this, they also teach painting and music which helps the children give vent to their creative aspects.
Kanailal says there's still a lot to do. "The school needs better infrastructure, equipment and more teachers." But he does not expect too much from the government. "I believe sincere, relentless work does never go unrecognised."
Contact 51/1, Netaji Subhash Road, New Barrackpore, Calcutta—700131, Tel: 033-25672078
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT