Boehringer Ingelheim India inaugurates facility for children with special needs

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The facility will educate children on how to communicate effectively and cultivate behavioural change essential in their daily lives

Boehringer Ingelheim, a global pharmaceutical company, recently inaugurated a ‘first-of-its-kind’ facility for children with multiple disability at Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital in association with Muskan foundation. The programme in Mumbai is designed with an aim to train the visually impaired children accompanied by additional disabilities so that they may communicate effectively and develop modification to their behavior essential for their daily routine.

The facility was inaugurated by Manuela Pastore, Global Director as a part of the social entrepreneurial initiative Making More health at Boehringer Ingelheim.

Explaining the thought process behind the association, Sharad Tyagi, Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim said, “Boehringer Ingelheim wishes to reinforce the importance of having a normal life for children with special needs and this initiative is a step in that direction. This is one of the many programmes undertaken by us to fulfill our commitment towards the people of the country. At the facility, we hope to enable the children with multiple disabilities lead a normal life.”

In India there are 20.42 lakh disabled children who are aged between 0 and six years. Out of which 14.52 lakh and 5.9 lakh children live in rural and urban areas respectively. Of them, 11.04 lakh are male and 9.38 lakh are female children. Among them, 1.49 lakh children have multiple disabilities.

Dipti Gandhi, Director, Muskan Foundation for People with Multiple Disabilities said, “Through this unique facility we have tried to touch the lives of 102 children who are visually impaired accompanied by an additional disability, out of which 10 children come from outside Mumbai to get trained at our center. At the center, we have an individual education programme, specially designed keeping in mind the needs and requirements of every child for his growth. We have also planned a multi-facet programme to train these children which includes a therapist, parent, and a special educator”.

“Under the umbrella of our global initiative we make positive impact happen – in a very tangible way. I am very proud together with local stakeholders we could inaugurate this facility today. It makes the further milestone in our journey in India where we are running huge health programs for tribes in Tamil Nadu & Kerala,” said Pastore.

Emphasising on the unique initiative at the hospital, Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children said, “The initiative is planned keeping in mind the entire medical and mental support system necessary for children with special needs. As we have a hospital thoughtfully designed for children, a unique facility to train children with multiple disabilities was a need.”

At the facility, the children are trained to manage their disabilities with a multi-disciplinary approach to ensure that they are able to make a lasting difference in their health and life. The facility also focuses on educating the parents who will then receive comprehensive training for effective management of these children at home.

Currently the facility has over 100+ children with multiple disabilities like blindness, deafness, cerebral palsy etc.