History Of Dependability St. Francis MR School Pathankot

St. Francis MR School Pathankot was established in 2007 though the preparations for the Project began in 1997. It was delayed due to the non-availability of a railway crossing. At the end, the railways sanctioned the road in 2005. Though the foundation stone for the Project was laid in 2005, it took another two years for the project to take off. At last, on the Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ, August 6, 2007, the special school for the special children was inaugurated. There were six children with disabilities on the opening day.

Right from the beginning, Saint Francis Home Pathankot believed in providing the best service to the children with disabilities through special education, occupational therapy and Speech therapy. At the same time, the center began OPD services for the children with disabilities who were brought to the Centre by their parents. At the end of the year, there were ……….. special children receiving regular education and therapy at the center and ……. Children were brought to the center for therapies.

Though the MR School was opened in a small room , with the increase in the number of students, the class was shifted to a converted cattle shed. With the opening of the Girls’ Hostel in 2009, the total number of students increased. Right from the planning stage of Saint Francis Home Pathankot, the emphasis was on the improvement of girls with disabilities as they were the most neglected group in the society of the time. Therefore, the hostel for the girls was completed on a priority basis in 2009. It was blessed and inaugurated on-------- by the then Bishop Anil Couto.

When Saint Francis Home Pathankot was opened on August 6, 2007, it had only six children with intellectual disabilities. . This low turnout did make us wonder whether we had made a mistake in locating the Project at Pathankot. However, Year by year, the number of intellectually challenged children increased proving our choice of place was excellent. Till date, Saint Francis Home MR School provided ---------of children training in daily living, socialization, skill training appropriate to their intellectual ability, and above all, a sense of personal identity. However, we also have the painful memories of those children who were beyond our own training and skills as special educators. All that we can do is to salute those brave parents who accepted the birth of these special children and lavished their love on them, setting a living example of NISHKAMA KARMA. It is when we witness this selfless parental love that gives us the urge to continue serving the children with intellectual disabilities to the best of our ability though we may not come up to the expectations of the parents. It is because disability is a condition that cannot be eliminated but can help a special child to improve his or her functioning.

True there are very few special educators , if at all, who are conferred national or international honors in recognition of the service they render to the special children. But the memories of the innate joy of these children they experienced would remain the greatest reward till their dying day. This ineffable experience of the special teachers and allied professionals is what keeps the rehabilitation of the children with disabilities going despite the poor pay and poor working conditions.

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