Published on June 20, 2021
AHMEDABAD: Anand Dham at Adroda near Bavla today houses 60 persons – 45 men and 15 women of different ages. It’s not any colony though – it’s Gujarat’s first abode for the adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The philanthropic initiative is the dream project of two city-based fathers Raju Shah and Parag Shah, both businessmen, to ensure that adults across the state like their girls don’t have to depend on anybody when they are not around.
Incidentally, both lost their dear daughters – one in 2013 and another in 2020 – but their dream project provides solace to many parents across the state.
Parag Shah told TOI that the project started taking shape with a central idea. “We would do everything for our kids. But what would happen when we are not around? This thought worries the parents of every child with intellectual disabilities. Thus, we started the initiative with all the amenities and decided to admit only those above 30 years of age,” says Shah.
Shah’s younger daughter Rishi has speech and hearing impairment. “We have given her the best education possible making her self-sufficient. She is associated with the Blind People’s Association (BPA) for many years now. We had even been to the US for her treatment, but we were told that the approach by city-based institutes is best suitable,” he said. “Which parent wouldn’t do everything in his or her power to ensure that a child reaches full potential?”
The founders said that the younger children are still managed by many families, but those with intellectual disabilities need care and understanding – something they strive to provide through their limited efforts.