a small beginning with 22 students and a makeshift classroom
ASTITVA has come a long way since its inception in 1981.
Over the past two decades it has built a vibrant institution
dedicated to education, training and rehabilitation of the
mentally retarded and deaf and mute children. Today it has
a building of its own with 25500 sq. ft. of built up space
equipped with the necessary amenities under one root and
a family size of over 400.
institution is located at Dombivli, on the outskirts of
Mumbai in Thane district of Maharashtra. Four core activities
form the current focus the institute.
- School for the Mentally
Retarded with student’s strength of 135.
- “Mook Badhir Prabodhini”
that runs a school for the deaf and mute with 75 students.
- “Sheltered Workshop” to
train the adult handicapped in vocational trades. A number
of products of household consumption are made in this
workshop. Presently 95 handicapped adults are engaged
in the workshop.
- Hostel to care for the
mentally retarded persons. Currently the hostels look
after 65 inmates.
the early 1980s, the Thane region of
Maharashtra , though industrially advanced,
lacked facilities for the training of handicapped children.
A group of socially committed individuals came forward to
fill this void by starting ASTITVA.
Considering the scale and magnitude of the undertaking,
it was decided to execute the task in phases starting with
the school for the mentally retarded. ASTITVA in Sanskrit
means existence and the name of the institute reflects the
belief that the society needs to recognize the existence
of the mentally retarded persons and other subnormal.
A plot of land measuring 2000 sq. metres was
bought for Rs. 1.40 lac in April 1982.
In October 1982, the wing for the deaf and
mute started functioning.
The first phase of construction was completed
in June 1984.
The sheltered workshop was started in June
A hostel (separately for the boys and girls
) was started in January 1992 with 14 inmates.
Construction of the complex was completed
in March 1996 with a floor space of 25500 sq. feet, well
furnished and sufficiently equipped with the aids as required
for different categories of handicapped.
Schools for the mentally retarded
and training of the mentally retarded includes teaching
self-dependence, gaining control over natural body rhythms,
keeping the body clean, bathing, cleaning teeth and dressing
one-self. Their I.Q. being very low, usually between20-70,
even this basic training poses special challenge. The education
and training of these children differs a lot from that of
normal children, often requiring person specific programmes.
we have 135 mentally retarded children in the age group
4- 18 years. They are grouped in 12 divisions under the
charge of 15 teachers assisted by 7 non-teaching staff.
Students are classified according to the nature of their
mental retardation (mild/moderate/severe) and also on the
basis of the progress achieved in attending to daily routine
students attain the age of 18 years, as required under the
present regulations. They are transferred to the sheltered
workshop. While we try our best to ensure that after attaining
the age of 18 the child can understand some gainful activities,
it is not the child is then absorbed.
mentally retarded students, after leaving the school, were
in a position to secure small jobs else here on the recommendation
of our school. We are also happy to record that five others
have been placed most comfortably and gainfully.
are conducting continuous research and development in the
field of mental retardation with a view to finding newer
methods of making these persons contribute positively to
the society. Our staff does this with enthusiasm and missionary
zeal without the slightest sense of complacency.
detect the extent of hearing disability of such a child
as soon as possible. That helps in determining the power
of a hearing aid as also to ascertain the method of training
and development. The teachers also advice parents to involve
these children in social functions so that they learn how
to behave in the society.
teach these children not only the subjects common to normal
students such as languages, mathematics, history, science
etc. but also certain skills like dancing, singing, drawing
etc. We attach importance to giving them listening practice
and speech training. We have a total complement of 75 students
in the age group 4- 18 years. We carry on as an ongoing
exercise the study of each child with a view to activating
his other faculties to enable him to make his living after
he leaves the school. Presently 9 teachers and 7 non- teaching
staff members work in this faculty.
divisions for the deaf and mute children are made according
to their age they are placed under the charge of trained
teachers who continuously monitor their progress with the
help of assistant teachers, craft teachers etc. A speech
therapist provides assistance to the teachers in deciding
the methodology of teaching, the use of modern aids and
in periodic assessment of the progress.
the exception of hearing ability and speech all other facilities
being normal, placing a deaf and mute child in some gainful
activity is relatively easy. We have so far been able to
secure gainful engagement to 53 of our students. Perhaps
the number is higher since a number of parents have somehow
not maintained contacts with us despite our sincere efforts
to do so.
for the mentally retarded
second floor of the institute measuring 8500 square feet
is earmarked for the hostel for the mentally retarded. There
are two separate wings, one for males and the other for
females. The hostel is equipped with all the facilities
including a kitchen, recreation room and dining hall. A
doctor pays regular visits to the hostel and prompt medical
help is provided, including hospitalization. Unlike other
facilities, the hostel is an ongoing activity without any
holiday. Two rectors and sir caretakers are available on
call all the time.
has assumed for itself the “life time” responsibility of
its inmates. Although the parents/ guardians are required
to pay a certain sum of money in respect of their children/
wards every month some do not follow the discipline. The
institute however cannot afford to neglect an inmate on
account of non-payment or delayed payments.
the care is taken to ensure maintenance of cleanliness and
hygienic atmosphere. A 4 KVA generator has been installed
to ensure uninterrupted working of the washing machines,
water purifiers, coolers, refrigerators and other equipment.
ASTITVA the inmates are not a burden. We are in the constant
pursuit of achieving their overall development besides making
their life comfortable and enjoyable rather than being content
in just “maintaining” them. Towards the end, we provide
facilities for games like cricket, football and badminton.
Twice a year we organize outdoor excursions.
They are also taken to participate in different tournaments
organized at the district / state and national levels, be
it sports, cultural programmes, drawing competitions, music
or group events. In order that they do not nurture the feeling
of inferiority, their birthdays are celebrated with a pomp
and show. We also invites the parents at such celebrations.
as it stands today, has been created with a total investment
of about Rs. 60 Lacs. With the reputation of the institution
and rising pressures of population, the present infrastructure
has proved inadequate to meet the increasing demands for
have decided to undertake an expansion of the existing facilities
and also add some new activities. We are happy to report
that the plot of land measuring 2600 sq. meters, adjacent
to the existing complex, has been allotted free by the MIDC.
is proposed to construct a complex, similar to the existing
one, with a total floor space of about 26000 sq. feet on
this newly acquired plot of land. The following is proposed
in the new complex.
Expansion of all the existing facilities.
A compact but well equipped medical center
to cater to the needs of the institution inmates. In addition
this would also meet the needs of the growing local population.
A workshop to manufacture equipment needed
for the physically handicapped. There is considerable local
scarcity of such aids and equipment.
A library and resources center on all facilities
of the handicapped.
A conference hall to accommodate around 200
total expenditure for the execution of all the above projects
is estimated at Rs. 200 lacs. We would be most delighted
to provide any information that would enable you to make
students of ASTITVA regularly receive awards in the annual
Special Olympics for mentally retarded and at other cultural
events. Two recent awards are noted here. Tushar Ghadigaonkar
won the first prize for “Spot Jump” at the state level sports
events organized by the Government of Maharashtra. Prajit
Patil bagged the first prize in the Camlin Drawing Competition
open for all, handicapped and normal children alike.
Dombivli, ASTITVA has become an icon of social commitment.
As a testimony to that status, the institute’s founder president
Dr. Suresh Adker was conferred the title of “Dombivli Bhushan”
by the people of the town.
Seems Gokhale, an alumnus who was later absorbed in the
institute, as a craft teacher was the recipient of the President’s
Award in 1989 for combating her handicap- deafness.
school largest institution in its category in the sate
only institute in the state Maharashtra catering to the needs of different categories
of handicaps under one root.
participation from the local community. The first fund raising
drive in 1982 was flagged off by Mr. Ashok Gori, himself
a handicapped person. Rs. 17000 was collected on the day
of the fundraising. A large number of voluntary workers
provide regular and valuable support to the institute in
its various activities, particularly the workshop.
sheltered workshop is the first of its kind recognized by
the department of social welfare, Government of Maharashtra
in the district of Thane.
the circumstances so demand, once a mentally retarded child
enters ASTITVA he remains in the institute forever.
Donors and Patrons
family, Kalyan Municipal Corporation, Shri Sai Shirdi Sanstha,
Shri Siddivinayak Temple Trust, Shri Mahalakshmi Temple
Charities, Mumbai and hundreds of philanthropic individuals
and commercial organisation have provided generous support
development corporation (MIDC) has allotted a plot of land
adjacent to the present premises free of cost.
the students of different school in Dombivali and Thane
have collected substantial donations from the members of
Astitva Trust, Dombivali
Dr. Suresh Vadkar
Mr. Manohar P. Sadekar
Mr. Shashikant P Shinde
Mr. Balakrishna G. Karve
Mr. Prabhakar Y. Mungekar
Mr. Surendra N. Bajpai
Mr. Dilip S. Bhamre
institution receives grants from the Government of Maharashtra
and that takes care of the major portion of the running
expenses. The remaining expenditure, mainly pertaining to
the hostel is financed partly by the parents/ guardians
of the inmates and partly from donor support. We need your
support both in the proposed expansion project and also
in meeting the funds shortfall in the day-to-day running
of the institute.
sincerely urge you to be part of the mission of ASTITVA.
Please make cash donation to ASTITVA. Any amount is most
valuable to us. Donations in kind that would help us either
in the execution of the new project or in meeting the running
expenses of the school are also most welcome.
is registered under the societies registration Act, 1860
and the Bombay
public trusts act, 1950. Astitva observes high
standards of statutory compliance. The institution is not
affiliated to any religious or political organisation.
donation to ASTITVA are eligible for grant of exemption
for the purpose of income tax under section 80G of the income
tax Act. The institute also accepts donations in foreign
currency under FCRA section 6(1)(a) of the Act, Registration
may please be made by a crossed cheque or by a demand draft
favoring ASTITVA payable at Mumbai.
Prahladrai Kagzi Institute For Handicapped
Plot No. 8 A, M.I.D.C. Phase 1
Karmayogi: Mr. Manohar P Sadekar, President
Ms. Shobha Gaikwad, Principal
Tel: 0251-2471358, 2421279