Persons with intellectual disability or mental retardation
often face the challenge of being economically independent. Perceived
limitations of their ability to perform simple tasks and their self-help skills
give rise to doubts about their output when employed. Trust steps in to train
individuals with intellectual disability and help them realize their worth as
Situated aptly amidst the industrial surroundings of
Ambattur, Chennai, Navajyothi Trust receives orders of assembling and packing
of small components from the nearby automobile industries. Here, the young
adults who are mentally challenged take up the job of completing those orders.
adolescent and adult
boys undergo training for a period of 3 years to learn to handle simple jobs of
assembling components, using nuts and bolts, checking and congregating the contents
and packing them.
It all started with two very severely disabled
children - an autistic girl and a boy with intellectual disability and
physically malformed body. The boy was the son of Mr.D.J.K. Cornelius' partner.
Seeing his plight of helplessness, Mr. Cornelius, an engineer and businessman,
was determined to bring them into the society as contributing individuals. He
set his engineering mind to work and designed simple gadgets and tools to
enable the persons with intellectual disability to perform repetitive tasks. He
got them orders from nearby small scale industries and helped them earn their
Vocational training and placement opportunities are
offered to the fully trained intellectually disabled young adults in Navjyothi
Trust. The Trust was founded by Mr.D.J.K. Cornelius, in the year 1969 as a
Public Charitable and Educational Trust dedicated to the habilitation for the
Adolescent-Adult persons with mental retardation.
Trust currently works in the following areas concerning persons with
- Behaviour modification and counseling for
persons with intellectual disability
- Assisting in obtaining legal aid for
- Family counseling
- Vocational training for persons with
- Environmental restructures - designing and
- Setting up work centers
- Assistance in employment of the persons
with intellectual disability
- Human resource training for instructors in
vocational rehabilitation of the persons with intellectual disability
- Research and Publication
When a young adult with intellectual disability
joins Navjyothi Trust, he has to undergo 3 years of training.
training encompasses the following aspects.
training-Part I involves training in the following issues:
- Behaviour modification
- Training in self-help skills
- Training for housekeeping jobs, involving
- Communication skills - verbal or
- Money concepts and time management
- Independent travel - Home to work and back
- Light engineering and assembly jobs,
involving gross motor skills
training-Part II involves:
- Aptitude testing and personal interest
- Use of single hand for small jobs at work
- Using both hands simultaneously
- Fine motor coordination
- Using tools and simple machines
- On the job training
The trainees also have some leisure activities such
as yoga, craft, cooking, cleaning, and gardening, in addition to a day of
Features of Navjyothi Trust Institute of Mental Retardation
What make Navjyothi Trust special are
the models of environmental restructures that enable the maximal utilization of
the potential in persons with disabilities.
Being an engineer himself, Mr. Cornelius came upon
the idea of restructuring the tools for persons with intellectual disability to
make it easier for them to give best possible output. Some of the machines are
re-designed for them to make the work simpler and also increase the accuracy.
- A roller is used for packing boxes for
Brakes India Ltd
- Assembling oil-can dispensers for TI
Navjyothi Trust has developed a special course captioned Diploma in Vocational
Retardation), called DVR-MR. This is a one-year long certificate course that
covers the theoretical and practical aspects of working with the adults with
intellectual disability in their work environment and placing them in their
jobs. The students who take this diploma are usually working in the field of
rehabilitation of mentally retarded children or adults. The course is
recognized by Rehabilitation Council of India.
Navjyothi Trust takes up orders from companies like
Delfi TVS, Brakes India, TI Diamond Chain and Turbo for small parts assembling
and packing. These orders are packed by the persons with intellectual
disability, who have been trained and instructed to do these simple jobs.
Najyothi Trust pays them a monthly salary to make them independent and make
them truly contributing members of the society.
A special scale called Vocational Competence Scale
has been designed for determining the residual capabilities of the persons with
profound intellectual disability. This enables the right job placement and
utilizes their capability to the maximum productivity.
Every year, about 8 intellectually disabled pass out
as fully trained to explore their placement opportunities either in Navjyothi
Trust or elsewhere. Some of these students are employed by small scale
industries in and around Ambattur. Such students are given continuous support
to cope up with the new work environment or change of job at hand that they
face at their work place.
The small scale industries that employ the trained
students believe that these students are consistent and punctual workers. They
are happy with the kind of dedication shown by the trained intellectually
disabled and pay them for their work too.
Name of the Institute: Navajyothi Trust Institute of
Address: 40, Menambedu Road, SIDCO Industrial
Estate, Chennai - 600098