Muskaan”, a voluntary “not for profit” organisation, was started in 1982 by a group of
parents and professionals. The common ground was a lack of services for their children
with Down’s syndrome.
Three decades ago when intellectual disability was still ‘mental illness’ or “mental
retardation”, our daily ‘Muskaans’ had faded in our quest for ‘Normalcy’. Decades of
interaction with our work associates has taught us that it is not ‘disability’ it is ‘diversity’ – a
lesson that brings people together.
At that time there was no precedent in this field, no roadmap or blueprint to follow. It was a
learning for us. Everything had to be started from the scratch, curriculum had to be
developed and myths had to be busted. We evolved with our work associates and for our
work associates. Each step of the way, be it a new process or challenge, they never failed us.
This gave us the strength and resolve to provide them with newer opportunities and adapt
to their needs. We sustain our day-to-day operations with the support of the community
through donation in cash, kind and earnings from renting a small portion of the building.