The Governor of Punjab and Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, V.P. Singh Badnore today flaggedoff the Kalam Express, a mobile educational cum rehabilitation unit for children with special needs from Raj Bhawan.Indian Red Cross Society Chandigarh had launched its first mobile unit of Kalam Express in June last year with support of State Bank of India under CSSR. “Kalam Express”, named after Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the Former President of India and a world-renowned Space Scientist, is an initiative of Indian Red Cross Society, Chandigarh which aims at promoting, developing and then maintaining the skills required for children with special needs to function in their homes and in a social setting.Lauding the initiative of the Chandigarh Administration, Shri Badnore said that this would mainly benefit the children living in slums who cannot commute to schools for attaining education and also require different therapies because of their physical limitations.He also said that this mobile Educational cum Rehabilitation unit for Children with Special Needs living in slum, rural and rehabilitation colonies would give the children an opportunity to learn, experience besides interacting with each other and be a part of the mainstream.
A team of Special educator & a physiotherapist have been visiting these children in the mobile unit equipped with audio visual and tactile teaching aids like Braille kits, toys, special Oro Motor kits etc. The team goes door to door in slum areas to provide education to special children who are unable to attend regular school. The service is free of cost and has helped many children improve & even made them capable of attending regular school. It caters to visually impaired, hearing and speech impaired, and the mentally challenged children. The various areas covered under Kalam Express are Maloya, Dhanas, Manimajra, Mauli jagran, Bapu dham, & Colony no. 4.During past one year, the team has identified 260 Children with Special needs that qualify for this assistance and is currently catering to 168 children in the adopted city slums.The positive response to the service & need for such units to cater identified CWSN , Indian Red Cross Society has developed the new unit of Kalam Express, a fully equipped mobile educational cum rehabilitation unit to cater CWSN at their doorsteps. The new unit will focus on reaching out to more children in already designated areas.Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Member Parliament from Chandigarh, Ms. Kirron Kher, Advisor to the Governor, Mr. Parimal Rai, Deputy Commissioner Chandigarh Mr. Ajit Balaji Joshi and other officers of Chandigarh Administration.