Harish (India)

Photo of young man looking back over his shoulder
Harish is a young man with a combined vision and hearing loss, due to Down Syndrome.  He has been served regularly through BPA’s CBR (Community Based Rehabilitation) programme and had achieved a reasonable level of independence.

Harish examines a small object in his hand while his mother looks on.
Harish is able to move around his home and the village quite safely and confidently.  In this photo Harish goes with his mother to buy biscuits from the village shop.


Photo of the family cow


He can do simple tasks like getting water for guests and buying himself biscuit from the village shop.  He helps to care for the family's cow.



Photo of Harish with community rehabilitation worker


At this stage the field worker just visits occasionally to make sure everything is okay.



Photo of Harish's mother.


On the last visit, his mother complained that Harish was not helping at home, slept a lot and was getting very difficult to handle. He has also stopped caring for himself without prompts and argument.

Photo of Harish sitting with his mother and Vimal Thawani of BPA.
After speaking with Harish, his family, the field worker, and the villagers, the decision was taken to enroll him in a short program that was to take place in a few months where he would stay in a residential facility and learn several simple vocational skills that he could use when at home. Since it was a residential facility, it required him to stay with others his age and to care for himself.


Photo of Harish looking up.The field worker felt that with the social pressure, the changed environment, and the pressure of expectation of all around him, he would conform and get back into the routine of self care and productive work.

Photo of Harish's mother standing next to Harish and adjusting her sari.


We have learned from working with this student that issues and solutions change over time, and the programme must be flexible and respectful of the needs and resources that people and families bring to the table at different times in their lives