Our history, programs and affiliations
Founder of Asha Ka Jharna
Mr P N Agarwal desire to give back to society and especially Nawalgarh, the land of his forefathers was the genesis of Asha Ka Jharna. To give his deeply nurtured wish a more concrete shape, his daughter Reshma Agarwal went on to acquire a Master’s degree in special education from Harvard University and was largely instrumental in conceptualizing and developing the project in its formative years.
‘Asha Ka Jharna’ undertook the responsibility to provide for a better future, just & equitable space and dignified life to the special needs children in Shekhawati regionof semi-arid rural north-western Rajasthan.There was no rehabilitation service in this area. Ours was the pioneer intervention here and still remains one so providing comprehensive services to CWSNs and their families in a holistic manner with optimum resource utilization. In 1998, when we started working on this issue, people's support was "Absolutely Nil". Our team encountered many difficulties in the initial phase that time. Being a conservative society, people were closeted in their homes. They did not open up easily and treated us with suspicion. Awareness about disability was pathetic. Special children were the worst sufferers. Parents either concealed their special wards or treated them very badly. Some of them were even chained and were living lives worse than animals. People used to think any intervention as futile. Maximum they could visit local quakes. These children were considered to be the "Curse of the God and sin of their past life" and were deprived from their basic right of education & other human rights. It was a daunting task to convince this community about disability – its various aspects and role of special school/rehabilitation center. Through our concerted efforts and dedicated staff we demonstrated tangible improvements w.r.t self-help skills, social and communication skills, academic & cognitive skills, physical and mental development in the children thus increasing AKJ acceptance among local community. We have been working all these years enabling children with special needs attain independence by accessing quality rehabilitation services thereby alleviating the social stigma attached.