About Us

about1

Our vision and mission is to integrate the population having developmental disabilities into mainstream society through the adequate resources and policy support

In a world full of social issues, it is only human to normalize certain issues and to over look them or to underestimate the gravity of a particular issue. This is often the case with rights for those who have developmental disabilities. They receive apathetic treatment from the society in most parts of the world. This apathy and stigmatization is more intense when poverty grips the family of a developmentally disabled child. We at Urmi believe that such children are capable of things one can never imagine if they are given an opportunity to grow. Therefore, after intense research we framed our triad approach to deal with the problem at hand.

This triad approach works to empower the developmentally disabled children from not so privileged sections of the society in the city of Mumbai. We ensure quality education for students in adopted BMC schools with the help of our special educators who work in collaboration with BMC teachers. Outreach programmes, awareness sessions, enrolment drives and attempts to aid the process of policy evolution help secure a happy present and empowered future for our students.

No solution to any challenge is ever useful, if it is not sustainable. Hence, we at Urmi use our sustainable approach to empower the developmentally disabled by tackling the challenge holistically through the strategy of infrastructure improvement, awareness generation and advocacy for policy improvement.

Our change making model has 3 main elements

Awareness Resources

Capacity Building

Advocacy

Considering the lacking things at the community level and with the BMC special schools, we have designed the above model to uplift academic and social condition of the special children having developmental disability. Every academic year Urmi Foundation aims to support 4 to 6 BMC special schools and the communities based around those schools.

Programmes

team teaching

Team Teaching

The team teaching program uplifts academic performance of the children. This activity is a collaborative effort of Urmi foundation personnel and BMC school teachers. We develop curriculum, design teaching tools and guide teachers to hone the performance of the child. The assessment is carried out very carefully with all scientific checklists. The team teaching program proved its mettle by raising academic performance of our partner schools more than 40% in a single academic year. Till date we have supported over 200 students with the help of BMC teachers by adopting over 4 BMC special schools. Our objective in the future will be to implement new teaching methodologies with the help of our partner BMC schools.

Behavior Modification

Behavioral Modification

Through an intensive study, we have formed a module called the "Behavior Modification" program which aims at inculcating socially acceptable behavior. Due to lack of equivalent understanding and learning special child often displays a behavior such as self-destructing, echolalia, and lack of physical and psychological control over oneself largely affects the learning process and social acceptance. After a detail assessment we plan actual implementation with the help of 'Reinforcement, Punishment, Extinction, Shaping, Fading and Chaining' methods. Having carried out these tasks successfully, the 'Behavior Modification” programme has created a huge impact. It has not only proved to improve the learning process of a special child, but has also encouraged the participation of such children at social events. Added to this, one of the greatest benefits for the child has been, the absence of any kind of injury.

art therapy

Art Therapy

It is said that art adds meaning to the human life. The art therapy programme at Urmi involves our therapists, special educators and a plethora of colors. The Urmi team executes different creative activities such as vegetable printing, mask making etc. These creative tasks improve fine and gross motors skills, eye-hand coordination as well as the attention span of students while producing some really pretty pictures.

Parent's Workshops

Parent's Workshops

Being a mother is a fulltime job, and being a mother of a special child is in itself, an extremely responsible and sensitive job profile. The parents of many of our students are ignorant about special parenting. We, therefore, empower them about subjects like nutrition, financial literacy, epilepsy, sex education and behavior modification methods. We reach out to them through workshops and enable them to add greater value to lives of their little ones. We have reached out more than150 mothers from the schools and more than 1500 mothers from the communities and sensitized them about special childcare.

Occupational therapy

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy enables the child to be physically independent and surmount spasticity to learn better. Due to delayed development, many special children face difficulties with fine and gross motor skills. More than 60 children have benefitted from occupational therapy. It helps improve their academic performance and daily living routines. Our trained and experienced doctor plans and implements occupational therapy. She also designs home programs with parents to maintain the followup of the therapy activities.

Awareness, Outreach and Enviornment

Awareness, Outreach and Enviornment

Considering the high drop out rate and public apathy towards disability we conduct outreach programmes in different communities and backward spaces of Mumbai and plan awareness campaigns with community members and organizations. This initiative aims at educating community members and parents about disability and encourages them to send their special child to the school regularly. The prime focus of this activity is social acceptance and enrolment of those special children who are out of school. We have covered 52 different communities and ensured the enrolment and regular attendance of students.

In collaboration with Pratham PCVC (NGO) we initiated a program called “Project Saath –Saath”. Through this project we created parents support group at Baiganwadi and Sanjay Nagar community. We trained group of parents for therapy and home program for their special children. To encourage acceptance about special children we created this video for community circulation

Our impact

Colours improved Aarti's attention span
Colours improved Aarti's attention span

The clock strikes one and it is lunch time. We go wash our hands and eat. However, this seemingly simple process of washing hands before eating is complicated for some. Arti Khade is one such adorable little student. She was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive disorder) when her mother discovered slow growth symptoms. After a short- not so successful stay in a private school, little Ms. Arti ended up in one of the BMC schools with Urmi intervention. Art therapy was recommended for her and now she is a success story. Arti Khade is now a girl with a significantly improved attention span ready to learn academic and self help skills.

Jumping with a pole reduced Amrit's gravity fear
Jumping with a pole reduced Amrit's gravity fear

Fear is something that slows down the progress of even the most confident. Amrit Singh Khalsa was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome with a gravity fear and lack of fine and gross motor skills. Our tiny Hero overcame his fear of gravity by being able to jump individually and independently with his best friend arjun after 5 long months. From the first month of only observation to the third month of willing supported jumping, our little one has come a long way. At present our Amrit is learning bead sewing and dot joining and makes us all proud everyday

Sagar topped through stories and pictures
Sagar topped through stories and pictures

After changing two schools Sagar was finally enrolled with Urmi Partner School. with nervous attitude his mother explained us his difficulties in studying language. His insufficiency in identifying and writing words was indicating his poor base of alphabets identification. We took help of picture and his inclination for stories and framed stories accordingly to build his vocabulary. The method was followed by rigorous practice and one to one sessions. His mother too was trained to teach Sagar. In 7 months Sagar not only started identifying alphabets but also his fluency in reading and writing improved and he topped the exams with flying colors.

Team

Sonali Shyamsundar

Sonali Shyamsundar

Founder/Director

Sonalee Shyamsunder is a Political Science graduate from Ruia College. Her inquisitive nature coupled with a desire to know social realities resulted in her Masters degree from Mumbai University followed by a diploma in human rights. Sonalee then undertook her personal journey of finding solutions to the various existing social challenges by her professional choices. She worked as a reporter with print media and with various non governmental organizations. Sonalee Founded Urmi foundation in 2011 and has not looked back since. Her honest intention to serve the developmentally disabled was seeded in her during a trip to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the land where the developmentally disabled are viewed as an opportunity to serve the divine. Sonalee came back with high spirits and a firm decision to make a difference to the lives of many affected by the decision to close down BMC schools. Since 2011 Sonalee and her team have reached out to as many people as possible and have left a significant impact on their lives.

Team: Project
Suvarna Tambe

Suvarna Tambe

Program head: Schools

Kavita Satpute

Kavita Satpute

Special Educator

Gauri Salaskar

Gauri Salaskar

Special Educator

Sangeeta Patel

Sangeeta Patel

Program head: Mental Health

Advisory Board

Kavita Gonsalves

Founder at The Bake Collective

Charlene Vaz

Founder at The Bake Collective

Deshna Mehta

Founder at Anugraha

Dr. Indu Thakare

Therapist

Trustee
Sameer Kulavoor President Founder at Bombay Duck designs
Lokesh Karekar Secretary Founder at Locopopo design
Himani Mehta Treasurer
Mohini Thakare Counselor and Parents Guidance Lead
Karuna Kosambi Designer
Smita Baji Educationist Teacher with Akansha NGO
Shuklendu Baji Founder with Sentient Systems
Our Supporters
Unltd India BMC special education department Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan HDFC The Bake Collective
Special Thanks
Timma Gollar & Rinny Naik for creating informative videos Shrishti Sareen for creating content for blog and web Yogendra Karekar for website development Pratim Shankar for Photography Website design by Locopopo design Sonal Khale for content development

Contact Us

Contact Us
Sonalee Shyamsundar contact: 9768132001 Email: urmi.ngo@gmail.com

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email us at: urmi.ngo@gmail.com

Contact: +91 9768132001

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