In Conversation with “Nayi Disha”
In Conversation with “Nayi Disha”
Conversation with “Nayi Disha”. In this month’s Wall of Fame series, we are delighted to interview with the team “Nayi Disha”. “Nayi Disha” is an NGO Resource Centre that supports caregivers of persons with developmental disabilities. They offer a one-stop-shop resource for caregivers. Online and in-person support is provided by the Helpline at “Nayi Disha”. Their services are free and they have support groups ranging from information on diagnosis, assessment, treatment, and counseling. Their platform receives thousands of visitors a day from caregivers across India. Here are a few excerpts from our interview with “Nayi Disha”.
Q. Please share with us the Vision and Mission behind “Nayi Disha”.
Our Vision is to enable and equip families affected by developmental disabilities to be the change agents in the development journey of their loved ones, and not leave any family behind.
The mission is to provide verified and quality information in an easily accessible manner, build an evolving ecosystem and a strong interactive community of service providers, non-governmental organizations, and peer families, and drive the reach countrywide through the power of digital technology and innovation, in an understood language.
Q. How does “Nayi Disha” empower caregivers.
As we know, every family having a loved one with developmental disabilities goes through varying degrees of anxiety and helplessness. During their early days, parents often struggle to find out how to deal with the situation and who to get help, advice, and treatment. Timely information becomes critical for the child’s development. But more than just information, parents also need hope and strength as they face everyday challenges.
We become a life-long partner to the family and at every step, we provide support to bridge information gaps and overcome fear and uncertainty along that journey.
Through a digital knowledge hub and community that draws special needs families into an eco-system, we make available comprehensive and credible information and compiled a directory of support services. Here, parents can find curated knowledge, relevant references, and resources across life stages, an accessible helpline, and guidance (or counseling) that can provide the right solutions at the right time and place so that the child may be guided to reach his/ her true potential.
Parents can engage with other parents in similar challenges, become part of peer support groups and communities, and evolve and further build such communities. They can participate in training, exchanges, and events curated to enable such caregivers to cope, feel supported life-long, and embrace a haven where they feel acknowledged.
We are also reaching out to families with limited resources in remote areas of India, and use technology as a driver to communicate with them in a language they can understand.
Q. Tell us more about the helpline at “Nayi Disha”
We launched our Nationwide Helpline to provide free counseling and guidance to families. Through this helpline, available on the phone and WhatsApp, our counselors provide counseling support and guide caregivers to find the right government schemes and benefits, providers, and vetted information. Parents can save the Helpline number on their mobile phones approach over a phone call or through WhatsApp messages.
Conversation with “Nayi Disha”
Q. What are some of the services “Nayi Disha” provides?
Our online services are complemented with in-person services (pre-covid) to reach parents across the socio-economic and digital divide.
|In-person services: Online
|1. Information Resources – 480 published articles in English, Telugu, and Hindi about Autism, Down syndrome, etc. See video here.
|1. Parent training workshops: short training sessions and Saksham- 8-week parent training program in partnership with Saamarthya foundation.
|2. National directory of vetted services -1,890 providers from 98 cities tagged with geo-location, with ability for parents to provide feedback
|3. Sakhiyaan / Saathiyaa – Support group meets. (Also done Online due to Covid)
|2. Strong community of families – 20 support groups based on location, conditions and age-group
|4. Printed resources –Information for families who cannot access online material
Q. What are some of the challenges faced while establishing “Nayi Disha”?
- Creating a quality knowledge hub customized to the Indian context requires professional expertise which is expensive. Since Nayi Disha believes that information should be available for free, raise funds for the venture was a huge challenge
- Overcoming technology challenges with limited resources has been a huge challenge.
- Enlisting service providers to create a nationwide directory has been another challenge.
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