Pallavanjali creating newer avenues of empowering the specially-abled youth
‘We Bake’ Café & Bakery initiative by Pallavanajali is a step forward to help create a brighter & sustainable future for underprivileged individuals and those with special needs.
Pallavanjali Institute for Actualization of Individual Potential (PIAIP) is one such centre striving to make a difference in the lives of these individuals. It has taken its next big leap by launching its newest venture; We Bake” bakery & café, within its premises.
“The vision of We Bake bakery is to create a community bakery inside Pallavanjali, which runs as a collaborative initiative between the students, teachers, and their community to ensure live vocational training to the students within the haven of its premise. The young adults learn baking here from professional bakers and then move out to find new job opportunities in the same sector.
“We Bake, my dream project, and I have worked hard to make it a reality. The idea behind the initiative is to empower these youngsters, giving them a stepping stone with a skill that they can use to earn their living. It’s a unique space available for workshops, birthday celebrations, events and more,” says enthusiastic Krishna Das, Head of Career Training at the institute Pallavanjali.
At the core of all its initiatives, Pallavanjali empowers young adults to become self-reliant and confident citizens of the world. These young adults come from difficult situations – special needs, school dropouts and underprivileged.
“The need for employment, especially for special needs, is paramount for parents. We wanted to create a space where anyone with diverse needs can come together without the baggage of being ‘special’. A trusting environment where their skills will be appreciated not because they are persons with disability,” adds Krishna Das.
Building an independent and self-sufficient tomorrow
At Pallavanjali, the philosophy has been that when a parent of a special needs child reaches out to them, not knowing how to deal with the situation, the therapists, counsellors, and special educators at the centre will be able to guide and support them with one-on-one intervention and parent counselling.
Pallavanjali has a fully equipped Intervention Centre. As the child grows up and is ready for group work gets moved to a group intervention programme and then to a classroom situation with regular students following a functional curriculum.
“We believe that children learn the best when they are in an inclusive environment. Our classes, especially till grade 8, include ‘regular’ students from the EWS category and students with alternative needs. Once the special needs student is 15 years of age, is moved to a functional academic class for three years, where they learn at their own pace with a focus on life skills. At 18, students graduate to the Career Training Programme that teaches them to be work-ready, along with the focus on independent living skills, which we believe equip them towards being a practical part of mainstream society. We endeavour to introduce our students to the best working environment for their Internships,” adds Das.
Pallavanjali provides a one-year intensive soft-skills development programme for underprivileged young adults. Students whose parents are daily wagers, house helps, auto drivers, and more come from less privileged backgrounds. They get enrolled in a six-month programme of skill development, including communications, grooming, computer literacy and more. After that, they are placed for a six-month-long internship to learn more on ground zero.