Kids with special needs don’t need sympathy from society; they need a chance to grow

Dr Surekha Patil is an inspiration to many. Dr Patil who hails from Pen, in Raigad district of Maharashtra, has been working for the differently-abled children since the past 14 years. She emphasises that as a society rather than showing sympathy, we should work towards making them independent


Differently-abled children in India, still face discrimination in most of the rural areas. A child with special needs has to face deprivation and has limited resources in their life

The family and the caregivers also have to face a lot of hardships and challenges while managing the child. Lack of awareness and education in the family is the major contributory factor behind the discrimination.

There are various NGO’s and social organisations, which work for the betterment of children with special needs. But, today My Medical Mantra brings you the struggle of a woman who has given the children in rural areas the platform which they were deprived of.

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Meet Dr Surekha Patil, is a beacon of light to several people. Dr Patil belongs to Pen in Raigad district of Maharashtra and has been ceaselessly working for the differently-abled and special children since the past 14 years.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra Dr Surekha Patil said, “I still remember when I had started working for the differently-abled kids. It was very tough indeed. I had surveyed 172 villages and finally managed to pinpoint 170 children who were differently abled. We counselled the families, but only 10 families agreed to send their kids to the school.”

Dr Patil further added, “But, gradually things have changed over the years. Now, we have 120 differently-abled children who are studying in school. Students who have completed their education are working in the different fields.”

Moved after witnessing the plight of the differently-abled children in Pen, Dr Surekha Patil started an NGO called ‘Suhit Jeevan Trust’ in the year 2004. Since then she is ceaselessly working to make the life of a differently-abled child beautiful.

Dr Patil says, “When I used to come to Pen, I witnessed a few differently-abled kids roaming on the streets. I believed that these kids also can stand on their own feet. Provided they get an equal opportunity to back them. With this in mind, the school was started in a small room. And now we have our own school.”

Diagnosis plays a very pivotal role in the treatment and the management of the differently-abled children. Dr Patil has started an ‘Early Intervention Centre,’ so that proper, accurate and timely diagnosis can be done.

“Accurate and timely diagnosis is very important. The doctor and the family both can better manage the child if the condition is diagnosed at the right time. State government should start centers like this,” says Dr Patil.

Dr Patil signs of saying, “Children with special needs or who are differently-abled don’t need sympathy from society. They need their place and their rights to be independent. As a society we rather than showing sympathy, should work towards making them independent.”