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A decade and a couple of years ago, a few men who shared the passion of a brisk early morning walk realised they had yet another common factor that could bind them together. They either had a child, a grandchild, or a nephew/niece with a difficulty in learning. Among them were a few Business Men, one or two Chartered Accountants, a Physician, and an Academician. None knew the way forward. All knew their children were experiencing harrowing time in school and home because of their difficulties in learning. The year was 2007. The movie Taare Zameen Par had unleashed an emotion so powerful that the hitherto unappreciated travails of children with learning disabilities were suddenly, quite unexpectedly hurled forefront. Deciding to take matters into their own hands, they got together to start an organization that would serve these children. Out of desperation, and sheer fortitude to find a resolution to their plight, the Vigyan Valley Education Trust was born.

I was then an Assistant Professor of Special Education and the Vice-Principal of a College of Special Education teaching graduates and post graduates of special education. The onus of developing a project proposal to start a unique facility for children with learning disabilities was on me. The project was vetted by none other than an internationally well-known stalwart in special education, Dr. MNG Mani who also happened to be a very dear friend and a colleague of my own professional guru Dr. Jayanthi Narayan. Thus, in 2008, under the umbrella of the Trust, the Vigyan Valley Learning Centre was pioneered. With a handful of students with difficulties in learning, and a bunch of terrific teachers extraordinaire, the centre started providing services. It has been a privilege and an honour to be at the tiller of this pioneering organization in Kerala since 2008 as its Director first, and as the Managing Trustee since 2012.

Today, 12 years later, Vigyan Valley has blazed a path that has been an inspiration to the genesis of many other similar organizations. With 112 robust children and a staff of 25 including special educators, clinical psychologists, doctors, and counsellors, Vigyan Valley has indeed come a long way. After completing their class 10 and class 12 examinations, around 500 plus of our students have opted for under-graduate courses in Commerce, Fashion Designing, Hotel Management, Medicine, Engineering, Law, Music, Child Development, Interior Designing, Fine Arts, Home Science, and Aviation Technology to name a few!

We are on an exciting journey with our students leading our educators into novel ways of teaching them. Despite our successes, we have had our ups and downs too. Foremost among them is our need for a roof above our children and us. For we function out of a rented premise even now. With no land and a building to call ours, we nevertheless surge forward with an astute conviction that what we serve to our students, and their parents, is evidence-based and driven by an unfailing passion and a mission to teach those we serve.

If you are inspired by us, and believe in our mission, I take this opportunity to invite you to join our family! You could be a student who want to learn with us, a parent who wants to enrol their child with us, a professional who would like to work with us, or a philanthropist who would like to lend us a helping hand, you are all most welcome to join your hands with us. Thank you for your patient reading!

 

                                                                                                                                                      Ajit Sacheendran Moorkoth
                                                                                                                                                      M.Phil., M.Ed.Spl.Edn. (Australia)., M.Sc.Psy., BMR (NIMH)
Managing Trustee & Executive Director
Vigyan Valley Education Trust