Bindu Modi – Satya Special School, Pondicherry
Satya Special School is a Pondicherry based non- profit organization working with the differently abled population from the age group of as young as 2 month old babies,to adults as old as 40 +. Satya Special School started in 2003 with as few as 20 students and today has about 700 children, and 7 centers both urban and rural.
Bindu Modi, a Clinical Psychologist & Therapist by profession is the President of Satya Special School. She says, “What is very special about Satya, besides the children, parents & staff is the “Dedication & Team Spirit” to work towards the holistic Development of the children. All Therapies and training are available under one roof free of cost.”
Satya Special School was founded in 2003 by Dr. Nallam along with his brother Mr Krishnababu Nallam. As a Clinical Psychologist, Ms. Bindu Modi has been part of the team since then.
Ms. Bindu Modi speaks to us in an exclusive interview:
Why did you decide to be involved with special education sector ? What do you like best about it?
I joined as a Psychologist, my work involved assessment of children, counseling parents and Teachers to handle challenges they faced. Often we had to work with hyperactive children. Parents, sometimes found it difficult to handle kids with behavior issues thus along the way we began to work on various methods of training the children. Our focus is first on Functional learning, &depending on the abilities of the child we review our goals.
Along the way I came across a set of children who were unable to cope in “Regular schools”,neither were they Retarded. So now what? Our committee decided we shall start a “Remedial evening Class” for slow learners .A set of Special Educators & B.Ed Teachers were roped in for this Project & we were happy to Help slow learners, children with Learning Disabilities overcome their shortcomings and are now coping well with theirschoolcurriculum.
What I like best is the challenge, that’s how we have grown. AlsoFinding new avenues & pathways along the way.
Who has been your source of inspiration?
Yes, there is this one person who is a strong Influence on me. Asource of inspiration and learning. I learnt that learning is an ongoing process. Learning takes place constantly in every situation.You learn from a child, you learn from an event, you learn every breathing moment, Learn even from your mistakes. It’s ok not to succeed at all times& in all ventures.Strive towards exploring options & pursue what you like doing, irrespective of Returns,because at the end of the day Happiness is what matters.
I learnt life is full of challenges and we have to brave every storm. Most important I learnt is every one is a good soul, look for the Good in people, each one is going thru their own challenges empathize with them, help them if you can. Each individual is endowed with talent, explore & help them excel. Never shy away from hard work & determination. I learnt Never to give up. The person who inspires me, My Teacher, my mentor, my guide, my friend, is my very own MOTHER.
What are your major challenges and how do you meet them?
Pondicherry being a small town getting qualified staff has always been difficult. Also there was little orientation towards special education. Being an NGO, funds are often an issue. Sometimes, we had to accept applications from diploma holders for the sheer need of staff.That’s when we decided to Train our Staff. Thereon we have been conducting Regular Training Programs for All our staff on Saturdays. Plus we have Teachers, Special Educators& Professionals from various related fields coming to Train them, we have workshops conducted by Resources persons from all over India as well as Abroad. Capacity Building Programs are conducted not just for students but for staff as well as Parents.
How have you / school collaborated with general education teachers to benefit your students?
Like I mentioned getting qualified special educators has been difficult. At one point we started an RCI program to train candidate for special education. We had challenges there too. Meanwhile we were taking in B.Ed teachers who were willing to teach our children, this worked out to our advantage since we were having ongoing training programs for all, the teachers learnt to handle our children very well. This later helped us to step towards Inclusion.
We started our National Institute of Open Schooling program(NIOS) in 2016.
Every child is unique in his / her way own way. How do you extract the hidden talent in them?
Exactly, each child is unique hence the training & Therapy program is designed only after thorough assessment & ongoing reviews of the child’s Progress. We modify the program, depending on the child’s abilities, strengths & weaknesses. Parental inputs & observing the child during various activities are strong indicators.
Your advice to the readers about the children with special needs would be?
Each child is very unique & special.It is for us to Reach out to them. Teach them in a way which they understand.They is always a “way” to make them understand .It is for us to find that way & guide. Acceptance, Faith, Determination, topped with Love and care are a sure shot way to help your child Achieve. When one realizes you have a special child it is essential to overcome the initial anger, hurt, guilt, the blame game,and Focus on the Achievable. Success will be yours.
Satya Special School,
Plot 6,7,8 E.C.R Road,
Opposite Siva Vishnu Mahal
(Near Shivaji Statue)
Phone No: 0413- 2263592
Mobile No: 9791867867 / 7418423241