Sensitization and Orientation Workshops

Arushi organises periodic orientation workshops for public functionaries, community workers, non-government organisations and the general public to familiarise them with needs specific to people with disabilities. These include awareness programmes on various government policies, entitlements and rights and legal provision for persons with disabilities.

RCVP Noronha Academy of Administration, MP regularly invites Arushi for sensitising officials of various government departments on disability issues, who also visit Arushi for early exposure to ground realities of people with disabilities and can lobby for their rights during their tenures. We have also held sensitisation workshops for graduates of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie to lobby for rights on a national scale. Other workshops have targeted officials, ground staff and museum staff of the Archaeological Survey of India.

We have also worked with community workers, NGOs, police and bank personnel to sensitise them to the needs of people with disabilities. Care has also been taken to include transport personnel like auto and bus drivers and staff at hotels, restaurants and other commercial establishments. Volunteers trained at Arushi offer sensible and practical suggestions on how to interact more comfortably and confidently with people with disabilities.

Along with these, capacity building programmes have been held for more than 2000 teachers all over MP and Chhattisgarh in collaboration with UNICEF, Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission, Bhoj Open University and other agencies.

Helpline on Disability

Arushi runs a Disability Helpline, a toll-free service (1800-233-4397), which receives about a hundred calls daily from all over the country. This service was started by Arushi to provide information on disability-related issues and is supported by the Department of Social Justice, government of Madhya Pradesh. This toll-free Helpline service has become operational since September ‘08 and since then it is being used effectively.

Often the helpline team extends its support beyond offering advice on phone and takes up the matter with concerned agencies like schools, colleges and government or private organizations to help resolve the difficulties faced by people with disabilities. Though the helpline is intended for persons with disabilities and other stakeholders in MP, there have been calls from Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, UP, Delhi, Maharashtra and Bihar.

Launch of National Anthem in Sign Language

Must you be able-bodied before you can express your patriotism? How does a deaf and dumb person who has never heard the haunting strains of his national anthem ever give voice to her love for her country?

In its quest to bring the disabled into the mainstream and increase their visibility among the more fortunate majority, Arushi, in association with a few other organisations, has produced a film on our national anthem in sign language. Shri Amitabh Bachchan leads persons with disabilities in this film. The film was conceptualised by Satish Kapoor, the music is by Late Shri Adesh Shrivastava and it has been directed by Shri Govind Nihlani.

Posters on Disability

Since 2005, Arushi has been creating posters to spread awareness about the issues of disability with special focus on inclusion. The captions have been written by Gulzar Sa’ab and Zishaan A. Latif has brilliantly captured some moments in the daily life of these children. The children featured on the posters go to mainstream schools, study and play with other children.

Many government agencies and private organizations use these posters to garner support for disability-related issues and to spread awareness. Translated into many Indian languages including Urdu, Assamese, Gurmukhi, Bengali and Telugu, the posters elicit tremendous public interest when displayed in exhibitions across the country.

These posters are installed in nine railway stations in the country including the New Delhi Railway and in the Shatabadi Express trains that run between state capitals. Voluntary organizations in the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have procured these from Arushi for their use. Leonard Cheshire Disability, UK also uses the posters in fifty-four countries of the world from where they operate.


Aadhar is our contribution to bridging the gap between planning and grassroot realities. Departments of both the state and the central governments extend numerous facilities and concessions to persons with disabilities and many such facilities are relevant to school going disabled children as well. Further, Ministry of HRD, Government of India, education departments and examination boards issue guidelines and orders relevant to children with disabilities.

Unfortunately, there was no central place where disabled children, their guardians, teachers and school authorities could lay their hands on these orders, guidelines and literature. As a result, disabled children and their guardians run from pillar to post to get their due entitlements. In most cases, they are unable to avail facilities, which in turn adversely affect their performance. Keeping this in mind, Arushi published Aadhar, a compendium of facilities and entitlements for children with disabilities. It contains details of all the provisions, schemes, acts, entitlements, facilities and orders useful for disabled children studying in regular schools.

Sensitisation through Textbooks

What can you do if you have a student with hearing impairment in your class? How can you help your child who is orthopedically impaired?

Simple guidelines that educate and empower teachers, students, parents and other stake-holders are included in all state school textbooks from class one to eight. This one-page information on different aspects and types of disabilities has been included in million textbooks in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

Children with disabilities require early intervention, which they are largely deprived of because their caregivers have little or no knowledge about the specific intervention required. This unique campaign by Arushi in collaboration with the Madhya Pradesh Textbook Corporation facilitates inclusion, remove myths and misconceptions woven around disability that are the main cause for people with disabilities to remain excluded and marginalised. Text books reach each and every house and parents, teachers and students all have access to them, making them the perfect vehicle to reach crores of people.


Arushi has produced 4 documentaries and tutorials for the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan for orientation programmes in schools. 2 documentaries have also been made in association with the Tata Trust that tell positive stories about children.

These documentaries are used for spreading awareness and for trainings by other organisations and the government. State coordinators from the states of Punjab, TN, Haryana, J&K and Assam have also used these in their home states.

Teachers’ Trainings

The main reason cited by schools that deny admission to students with disabilities is the lack of trained staff. To overcome this, Arushi organizes awareness programs for teachers that focus on dispelling myths and misconceptions about disabilities and emphasize the importance of having children with disabilities study in mainstream schools.

Teachers’ experiences with children with disabilities are discussed; experts share tips about dealing with the special needs of these children, and teachers are acquainted with updated teaching methods and precautions they need to take while teaching students with disabilities. Teachers also learn ways of identifying and assessing a child’s problems.

Several teaching aids developed by Arushi are also provided to the teachers, these include charts of alphabets in Devanagari and English along with the corresponding symbols in Braille and sign language; brochures on various kinds of disabilities, which are being used by school teachers.

Developing Resources

Audio Books Library

The audio library at Arushi has several thousand hours of recorded study material for school and college students who are visually or print impaired. Textbooks as well as instructional and supplementary materials for various disciplines and competitive exams are available as audio files and accessible eText in ePub format. Recording is done in all languages for all subjects as per requirement. Arushi’s centre is equipped with a hi-tech recording studio with computers, digital recorders, mixers, microphones and CD recorders necessary for recording audio using the DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) format. Arushi is one of the founder members of the DAISY Forum of India (DFI).

The labour that our volunteers put into recording books for our visually impaired children isn’t restricted to their use alone. Audio books recorded at Arushi are distributed all over the country through Sugamya, the dedicated library for those with visual and print impairment. Development of instructional material for visually impaired in alternative formats is distributed by Arushi to others in need.

Braille Transcription

Gulzar Sa’ab has led this initiative by having all children’s books written by him, transcribed into Braille by Arushi. The Braille books are produced both in Hindi and English.

Inspirational books, biographies of scientists, poetry, nursery rhymes and children’s books – Arushi has a growing number of books in Braille. The former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s autobiography “Wings of Fire” and his inspirational book “Ignited Minds” as well as children’s favourite read, the Harry Potter series, are all available in Braille.

Braille Classes and Story-reading Sessions

Arushi conducts Braille learning classes in both Hindi and English, which are open to all. We also organize regular story-reading sessions where the visually impaired students from Arushi read out stories in Braille to school children.

School kids are invited for these innovative sessions and they find this experience very rewarding. It helps in breaking barriers and changing perceptions as children play games, solve riddles and make friends with one another.

Identification of children with disabilities in villages and in the urban slums of Bhopal

Barring the urban and affluent demographic, there exists a general lack of awareness regarding disability to such an extent that an incapacitated aging family member or a child with delayed milestones may not even be perceived as disabled. Keeping this in mind, Arushi helps in identification of children with disabilities in and around Bhopal. The identified children are then assessed by a physiotherapist and a speech therapist of Arushi. This preliminary assessment forms the basis on which Arushi has begun work on starting a rehabilitation centre for children with disabilities in the rural areas.