We started our journey with an inclusive kindergarten in Kashele village, on 3rd Dec 2018 (World Disability Day). At present we have 25 students, including 4 children with disabilities, who study together using a multi-sensory learning approach. A majority of them come from Katkari settlements in Kashele and adjacent tribal hamlets. We follow an ‘inclusive curriculum’ that integrates constructivism, universal design for learning (UDL), and social-emotional learning (SEL), to address diverse learning needs of all children.
Our aim is to increase one grade every year, and gradually become a model inclusive school where all children with and without disabilities study together in the same classroom.
COMMUNITY LIBRARY / DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTRE
On 3rd June 2019, we set-up ‘Samaaveshi Library’ – an inclusive, community library within our school premises in Kashele village, with an aim to improve literacy, life and STEM skills among primary-level children with and without disabilities residing in Kashele and neighbouring tribal hamlets. The library is open 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Saturday. Besides, we conduct regular ‘Weekend Library Workshops’ on literacy, storytelling, creative arts and life skills, which is attended by 30-40 local children.
By 2030, we plan to set-up a network of five community libraries/resource centres across Karjat block with a robust collection of print, digital and assistive learning resources.
ANGANWADI TEACHER-TRAINING & TRANSFORMATION
At present, we’re working with 80 Anganwadis, and gradually plan to cover all 300 Anganwadis in Karjat by 2030.
SOLAR, SMART (INCLUSIVE) ANGANWADIs
Over 50% Anganwadis (of total 300) in Karjat block DO NOT have electricity. Samaaveshi started a PILOT in 2021 to transform five local Anganwadis into ‘Solar, smart Anganwadis’, by providing a 165W solar power system + 1 Smart TV + 1 Smartphone. The idea was to harness solar energy and provide uninterrupted power and access to digital (and assistive) learning to rural Anganwadis. We believe this will gradually improve child enrolment, classroom engagement and early learning outcomes among preschool children in Karjat.
Going forward, our goal is to solarize all 150 Anganwadis in Karjat that do not have electricity, by the year 2027.
ZP SCHOOL 'INCLUSIVE-EDUCATION SUPPORT'
Beginning June 2022, Samaaveshi has been working with a Zilla Parishad (ZP) primary school in Kashele village (Karjat), to implement inclusive education practices. Our focus is on implementing ‘universal design for learning (UDL)’ for Grades 1-3 comprising 28 students, including 5 children with disabilities. As part of this project, we have deployed two full-time teachers to facilitate inclusive learning; installed 650W solar power, smart TVs and set-up a small library within the school premises.
Gradually, we plan to expand to more ZP schools in Karjat, and make all efforts to improve their infrastructure, and provide quality inclusive education for all children with diverse learning needs.