[edit] Visit to Igatpuri school

Volunteers of Vibha Pune and Vibha Mumbai visited two schools for special children in Igatpuri in october 2008. These schools are run by Punyatma Prabhakar Sharma Seva Mandal (PPSSM) trust whose mission is to educate the poor / handicapped children in rural areas and to make them self-reliant. PPSSM runs over 7 schools across Maharashtra and 2 of these are in Igatpuri, one for hearing impaired (deaf and dumb) children and the other for mentally challenged children.

The main objective of this trip was to understand the key challenges faced by PPSSM in running these schools and to offer any assistance required from Vibha. We found that the schools are housed in extremely dilapidated premises which are in dire need of renovation. A new building for housing both schools is under construction but the work has stopped mid-way due to want of funds. But it was clear that, despite these hardships, the trust had made incredible progress in improving the lives of these special children - with several children participating in state level atheletic and cultural events. We were greeted with warm affection by all the children and also enjoyed some memorable singing / dancing sessions in the classes. The key action item from this visit was identify avenues to raise funds for the Igatpuri schools and, since then, volunteers have initiated discussions with several Pune companies to extend donations to PPSSM under the CSC (Corporate Social Responsibility) scheme.

Vibha is charitable trust registered under section 80G of the Income Tax Act of India.
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