Logo of National Trust
An Initiative of National Trust
for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy,
Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India
Ashok Stambh - National Emblem of India


Inspiration & the new inspiration- NavPrerna Foundation

“INSPIRATION”, a non-profit, registered, welfare organization was born out of an overwhelming feeling of resurrection as it were, from the ashes of disdain, hopelessness and despair, in an apartment of West Delhi. That was way back in 1995.

It all started when a school teacher and social worker was struggling to keep up whatever hopes she had of trying to address the problem of getting her six –year old son, an autistic child who was very hyperactive, admitted to a school that had the atmosphere, machinery and personnel to handle such cases.

When serious search efforts to identify an institute in Delhi with the requisite staff and equipment failed, she contacted The National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped [NIMH] UNICEF's childhood disability section and discussed with professionals she cameacross,in regular and special school in the course of her 2-year rounds. It was then that she started working on the “Prerana Special School″project (now Inspiration Centre) which was eventually launched in her apartment itself, in Vikaspuri.

Her 12-years'of teaching experience and the special training she underwent in order to impart proper schooling to the intellectually & developmentally challenged did, of course, help her to address issues relating to such cases who would not be accommodated or admitted in other institutions.Of still greater help, was her experiences as Secretary of the Social Service Club in her school days,in which capacity she was working along with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta.It was way back in 1995, when she had resigned from her job as a Senior Biology teacher, held for more than a decade that she was offered the post of Principal at a newly established residential school in South Delhi. But when she asked them to accommodate her son for schooling, they flatly refused, saying they could not handle such cases.

Well, she was not surprised, as 42 special schools at that time had already refused admission for her extremely hyperactive son. But thanks to that short stint as Principal, she came to realize the strength of the Group and Role-modeling - what she terms today as Group Therapy.

Her son, would happily follow other boys with his brush, or follow them to the dormitory in a very spontaneous way. This got her thinking about Role Modeling and the Group Home concept, geared to the specific needs of the particular set of children with autism & others. But as the need of the hour was her son’s schooling, she did not hesitate long to put in her resignation for the 3rd time in her career!

By the time her son turned 17, she had already had the opportunity to see various models in Japan and the USA. Through Mrs. ManekaGandhi, the then Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, she had the chance to visit several social welfare organizations in Japan. She had also done the Sonrise Start Up course at the Option Institute, Massechusetts, USA. Then she also did the Special Education course and the learning disability course from Roehampton University through Amar Jyoti Trust, in Delhi

Her son was already growing fast, into adolescence,and no program in India could offer her a realistic and genuine solution for her specific problems. The idea of the Group Home was already crystallizing in her brain. So when she received an offer from her daughter’s school director to stay in Dehradun, she jumped at the idea. Thus, with a Special Educator and two students from her Delhi Centre, carefully hand-picked to be the role-model for the future centre, she came away to Dehradun without further procrastination. The Group Home here was inaugurated on 25th September, 2005.

This Assisted Living concept was further bolstered when was selected to be the Coordinator of the first Pilot Project of Parivaar in India, supported by Inclusion International and the National Trust. So Inspiration had the privilege to be the first to undertake this project in India.

As there were no previous projects specifically geared to serve the persons with Autism in India, in a Group Home situation, she went along with her expertise & experience, and with the use of several alternative techniques, she was able to overcome a lot of the issues which prove daunting to parents in other situations. Having the past experience of handling adolescent & sexual issues with non-typical young adults, she used the natural methods of keeping the persons busy, with a schedule, which was also flexible to cater to the needs of the individuals with Autism.

The famous quotation ‘menssana in corpora sano’ – a sound mind in a sound body holds good for all individuals- special or otherwise. The first focus of this organization has always been to check the general health of the individuals, before labeling all behaviours as autistic. In her experience of all these years she found many students to be suffering from simple ailments like gastrointestinal issues, tooth problems, anaemia, which has often led to behavioral symptoms. To have a healthy balanced diet, to have regular bowel movement, to have a fixed schedule, healthy walks, games & movement therapy besides other related therapies is extremely important. Many of the programs do not have a holistic approach- following the conventional school approach, without keeping the lifespan approach in mind.

When our young special adults are already approaching adulthood, the need to talk about their issues in simple terms, explaining the social norms, what is expected of them, and how to keep them occupied meaningfully is important. All this cannot happen overnight, so from a tender age, if they are prepared through social stories, and real life situations, it is always practical. We have often seen, when the children grow up, and parents are hugging and cuddling them, our group of special children is not able to distinguish between known & unknown persons, so this sort of behavior is best curbed early. Not to be touching the private parts and fondling in public are certain instructions which are best taught early. We have simple unwritten rules- to sit one-hand distance apart, so that the person’s private aura is not invaded. This also helps the young adults to remain calmer, which is our personal experience.

  Autism Spectrum Disorders or ASD is commonly called Autism Neuro- typical: A term used for people who do not have Autism or ASD  
Home About Us Events Resource Centre FAQs Registration Expert Committee Contact Us Disclaimer
  It is the official website of the National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities, a Statutory Body under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India, 16B Bada Bazar Road, Old Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi -110060