19 April, 2021

At Karuna Vihar, mentally disabled children learn to challenge life

Avinash Pasricha
At Karuna Vihar, mentally disabled children learn to challenge life
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
When Jo McGowan and Ravi Chopra decided to marry and shift to India from the US, she gave herself two years to decide whether she wanted to stay on. And ended up "grinning and bearing it" for 11 years. In that period the Chopras had two children and adopted a baby girl whom they named Moy Moy (meaning little sister in Cantonese). Four years later, they found out that Moy Moy had been born with cerebral palsy. They also realised that there were not enough good institutions for the mentally disabled in India and despaired of ever finding proper care for their little daughter.

Meanwhile Jo had begun working with the Latika Roy Foundation which was set up by a retired Doon schoolmaster. The foundation ran an activity school for children and was exploring the possibility of starting more childrens' organisations. That's when Jo hit upon the idea of setting up a school for children needing special care—and thus was born Karuna Vihar—a school for the mentally handicapped.

To get a better idea of just how to go about setting up the school, three women who were already...
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