A stakeholder often “missed”

Khyati, Mahasweta & Shinjini

In the narratives surrounding children with disabilities, there is a stakeholder that is often missed – the mother. As we highlight special needs, the journey of mothers is often forgotten, and some are marred with prejudice even before their child’s birth.

While some mothers find immense support within their families or from their partners, others navigate the complexities of single motherhood. But when these mothers talk about their children, they radiate joy – sharing how kids are playful stress relievers, with dreams of becoming lawyers and firefighters and their deep affection for siblings and animals.

Engaging with mothers at the Muntrampattu village and Pondicherry centre of Satya Special School was a heartwarming experience for the Rebuild team. Satya Special School, through its nurturing environment, centered on a feminist approach to development, has enabled a network of mothers who support one another. Some mothers have transformed into advocates for children with disabilities, learning patience, understanding triggers, nutrition, exercise, self and child management while vocalizing disability rights.

The impact of our partner NGO, Satya Special School ‘s interventions, guided by the philosophy of “mothers as co-therapists,” has led to a change in the lives of their children, some of whom recently fought elections for their school parliament. While spotlighting the profound strength embedded in motherhood, each mother’s aspirations will remain a powerful reminder etched in our hearts.