Enlight brings light in the life of Afshan

19 Nov, 2017

Afshan Fathima has cerebral palsy due to which she is unable to walk or talk. Because of this condition, she was confined to her home and her mother was playing the role of full time caretaker. Afshan’s father is a plumber just meagre salary not enough to feed the family. Due to the bad financial conditions Afshan’s parents could not afford to provide physiotherapy or proper medical treatment. Parents tried to admit her to the school due to the lack of inclusive environment and special needs facility, Afshan had to drop out.

Cultural bias and rigid gender roles are the most frequently mentioned barriers to education for girls with disabilities. Afshan was one of the first beneficiaries of AEA’s who was brought under the ambit of ENLIGHT project which was started in 2015. The ENLIGHT team helped the family obtain government aided entitlements for the person with disabilities. Enlight Community based physiotherapy sessions have been started by the team which helps the parents to learn to perform therapy at home, Afshan was also included in the sessions. Afshan’s condition improved significantly after getting proper treatment and physiotherapy sessions. She could walk slowly with minimal support and spell out words. The ENLIGHT team encouraged Afshan’s family to enroll her back into the school and worked with the teachers to sensitize them towards her specific problems and needs. Together, they developed a supportive and conducive environment in the classroom and at school.

In the last two years, ENLIGHT team also conducted competency assessments and devised methods to enhance her learning. Gradually Afshan learned to speak and recognize colors, shapes, and words. Nowadays, Afshan attends school regularly and her sister, who is in the same grade helps with her lessons.

Enlight worked not only with the parents but also with the school authorities and peers to break down stigma and change attitudes, so that parents can see their child’s potential to learn and flourish.

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