There are over 52 million children in India with developmental disabilities and over 650,000 in Mumbai alone. Out of these, not even a quarter have access to quality care.
The idea of Ummeed was born while Dr. Vibha Krishnamurthy was working at Children’s Hospital in Boston as a Developmental Pediatrician. The resources available at the hospital and community there brought home to her the paucity of facilities available for children with developmental disabilities in India.
Upon her relocation to India in 1998, she worked with a number of nonprofit organizations as well as Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai, while she reflected on how best to provide the range of specialized services required for children with special needs. She maintains that identifying and treating disabilities in children makes for a healthier society at large in the long run.
On November 5, 2001, with the help of her husband, Ashish Karamchandani, a partner of the Monitor Group, she founded Ummeed with an initial staff of three.
Today Ummeed provides specialized care for most developmental disabilities and has moved into areas of training, research and advocacy. It is now one of the country’s leading NGOs, much respected for its work in the field of children with disabilities.
As an organization with close to 70 professionals, we work in four main areas:
What for others are simple tasks, were often huge challenges for Saad. In the two years (2013-2015) that Saad was part of Ummeed’s Early Intervention Center (EIC), we saw him overcome many hurdles. Now he can wear his own glasses, read from books and feed himself. He has graduated from Ummeed’s EIC and goes to a special school. What is more, he now makes his own choices!
My own faith in Subhan started giving me abundant strength. I no longer wanted to hide myself or my son from the glaring eyes of the world. I took him around with me everywhere like any normal child. We were not sorry or uncomfortable carrying him in public places. I was not embarrassed to seek help from people around. I did not mind telling them that he was a ‘special’ child. I was no more scared of people’s curious looks and awkward questions. As my mind opened up further I could feel a new hope springing in my heart. I felt happy, as I was a ‘Special Mother’.