For Radiya, Nafisa and Mridula, it has been a singleness of purpose and a deep dedication towards the mentally challenged that resulted in the establishment of PRAYATNA.
The three met in 1994 and on exchanging ideas realized that they shared similar thoughts on training and rehabilitation. They realize that to put their ideas into practice, they would have to start off on their own.
What followed was an exhausting period of knocking at doors, explaining the cause and collecting funds. Finally with the help of friends and acquaintances, they managed to get together enough to start. Their dream came true in October 1997 when PRAYATNA started with 7 young adults at a rented place in Mundhwa, Pune. They had no funds but managed against all odds……
Seeing are students brightening up at the very mention of school has been our biggest award!!!!!
Even as a child, Radiya would play nurse to her younger sister Rashida who was born with Cerebral Palsy. In 1986, she earned a degree in Child Development from SNDT Pune and started working at her sister’s school, Centre for Special Education, Pune. Over the years, she felt that there were great gaps in the training programmes, so in 1988 she trained with the Spastic Society, UK in Residential Care and Training for Young People with Special Needs. In 1991 she came back to India and joined Manovikas. The job was very satisfying… however; she felt there was so much more she could do……
Nafisa was aware of the trials and tribulations that special people are subjected to, as her brother was born with Down’s syndrome. After graduating in Chemistry (BSc) she got a Diploma at the Sewri School, Mumbai, a school for Children with Special Needs. When she moved to Pune, she joined ‘Kamayani’, a school for Special children. Later she joined Manovikas, a special centre but she felt there was so much more she could do….
Mridula, the third of the trio, had never seen a special child till she visited a special school at the age of 14. The visit sparked a desire to be around special kids. Although her career began in the Hotel Industry, she was drawn right back. She then pursued a post graduation from the NIMH in Kolkatta. She topped the course and joined the Spastic Society of Eastern India. Marriage brought her to Pune in 1993. The experience at SSEI had been very enriching but she too felt there was so much more she could do…..

Today we feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction. However clichéd it may sound, we could not have come this far alone. At every step, we have had people extending themselves to keep our dream alive. All we can assure is that this help will never go wasted, it will be used in the best way possible for those who need it most.

enhancing the abilities of people with special needs.....
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