Our history, programs and affiliations
‘Asha Ka Jharna’ as a voluntary non-profit organization has been working for the cause of disability and child rights since 1998. Our Three special schools for children with intellectual disability (including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism and other developmental disabilities) as well as those with hearing and speech impairment have been providing services in the semi-arid rural areas of north-western Rajasthan (INDIA). School based special education, therapeutic, vocational training, guidance and counseling services to more than 200 children with disabilities and their families are provided on a regular basis. Remedial teaching support to students enrolled in inclusive education setup is also provided. Open employment and livelihood options are sought for young adults with disabilities to ensure their rehabilitation into community. Training of educator trainees, capacity building in the field of rehabilitation and outreach services is also being undertaken. Sixty four trainee educators are currently undergoing Diplomas in special education (DEd Intellectual Disability) & (DEd Hearing Impairment) for academic session 2022-24 at our RCI recognized training institute.
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.