K. K. Nagar space for special children is run by couple

Wellknown Carnatic music vocalist Sudha Ragunathan spent some time looking at the simple fashion jewellery on display at a stall at the HSBC Bank on Dr. Radhakrishnan Road in Mylapore recently.

The event was themed ‘ Helping Hands’ at which the bank provides space to NGOs so they can network and interact and even conduct sales with customers.

She had a word with the woman behind that stall – Sudha Athmaraj and when the two Sudhas had a chat, the vocalist realized that these little, simple pieces of jewellery had been made by special children with special needs.

Sudha Athmaraj and her husband, who is a senior executive at the Mahindra Satyam company live in K. K. Nagar, close to the Padma Seshadri School.

Some years ago, the duo decided to share their very personal experience with families who would have gone through the same – that of handling, caring for and educating children with disabilities.

The couple have a son, Arvindraj who has got the better of cerebral palsy and when Sudha thought it was time to ‘share’, she and her husband opened a centre to train special children.

So, in K K Nagar, on the ground floor of the space where they reside, the Arvind Foundation, a registered Trust was launched.

Today, this place trains and teaches 18 kids with special problems. “They come from all sections of society,” says Sudha. “We charge those who can afford to pay the fees and provide our services free to the rest.”

The place has 10 staff and Sudha says that this ratio of staff to students is just right to provide personal and good care and training.

Children who suffer from Down’s Syndrome, AHD, cerebral palsy, autism and such problems are admitted here. There are two year olds and teenagers.

The Foundation’s second centre is in Porur which caters to people from the suburbs and rural areas while another centre is down south.

Little things like the fashion jewellery are fruits of the skills training that is imparted to the children. “This allows them to earnĀ  a bit and shows them ways they can be employed, ” says Sudha.

The Arvind Foundation place in K K Nagar is at 387, 27th Street, 6th Sector of K K Nagar. Chennai 78. Call 98416 153330.



This Foundation accepts help, support and volunteering from the community.

Since it takes care of poor children, it looks for donors who can fund the training of these kids. Donations that can support professionally trained staff are also welcome.

Volunteering at events that are held from time to time is also encouraged.

More info is at www.arvindfoundation.org.


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