Implanted in her heart was a desire to make – every child, no matter how challenged, a responsible member of society, by developing their individual skills and abilities. After the completion of her Post Graduation in Special Education with the British Open University, UK. Dr. Rita James returned to India with renewed verve to do her bit in making a difference in the world of those with special needs – Asha Kiran was conceived and in December 1993, it was registered as a Charitable Trust.
Asha Kiran Special Needs School, is an accredited institution of National Open Schooling. It caters to students from Pre-School right up to 12th grade. It also has a Vocational Training Centre for students who are unable to pursue academics. The focus being, training students in independent living. The student teacher ratio is 1:8 in order to ensure individual attention. Each class has a mix of students with different abilities, which has enabled them to be sensitive to the needs of each other and to be helpful too. The main focus is on teaching skills and concepts rather than finishing the textbook or passing an exam. The staff are a dedicated team, with a calling to work with special children.
Over the years Asha Kiran has endeavoured to live up to its name of being a ray of hope to many…providing Help, Opportunity, Progress and Enrichment. It has catered to all categories of children with special needs as well as children from lower income groups No distinction has been made between children on the basis of color, caste or religion. It is one of the few schools which promotes inclusive system of education having children with different special needs under one roof. Asha Kiran’s main objective is to prepare each child to be a dignified and useful member of society.
When questioned about her driving force to work with these children for 25 years, Dr. Rita James answered in the words of Mother Teresa, “I see the face of Christ in every child!”