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Association of People with Disability, Bangalore

Originally known as the Association of Physically Handicapped, since it was established in 1956, APD has helped educate over 20,000 physically challenged students across Karnataka

Cheerful APD classroom scene: unequal access response. Inset: Basavaraj
An estimated 90 percent of India’s 40 million children aged four-16 years with physical and mental disabilities are out of school. And the overwhelming majority of them are not in school because the government as well as private schools deny them equal access. The Bangalore-based Association of People with Disability (APD) is one among several not-for-profit organisations promoted with the objective of providing equal quality education to children with physical disabilities, excluded from mainstream schools.

Originally known as the Association of Physically Handicapped and established in 1956 by a group of physically challenged friends led by N.S. Hema (herself polio afflicted), in the past 40 years of existence APD has helped educate over 20,000 physically challenged students from across Karnataka. Promoted with the objective of "empowering disabled individuals with skills and knowledge to become active contributors to society", APD currently has 2,800 students/ trainees (instructed by 150 faculty) enrolled in its primary school and vocational progr-ammes. Its 1.5-acre campus in suburban Bangalore houses an integrated primary school, computer, industrial and vocational training centres, and a physiotherapy unit.

"We believe that every physically disabled person can become a financially independent and contributing member of society. To prove this we run 14 education, training and rehabilitation projects from our Bangalore campus. These courses are offered at highly subsidised prices to encourage enrollment," says V.S. Basavaraj an alumnus of Bangalore University and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and incumbent director of APD. According to Basavaraj, APD had recently (December 3 — World Disabled Day) organised a three-day workshop for physically disabled women from rural areas. "The three-day residential workshop attracted 200 physically challenged women from remote villages in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The purpose of the workshop was to enlist their help to address and find solutions to problems arising out of disability," adds Basavaraj.

The ten education and training centres within the APD campus include Shraddhanjali Integrated School — a kindergarten-class VII school whose enrollment includes 80 percent disabled and 20 percent ‘normal’ children; Industrial Training Centre — a state government recognised institute for the physically disabled, offering four 12-month diploma training programmes for fitters, welders, turners and grinders; Computer Training Centre — offering an 18 month certificate and several short-term diploma courses.

APD’s Horticulture Training Unit operates from four centres across the city and offers a 12 month training programme; Urban Slum Outreach Programme trains underprivileged and severely disabled youth in vocations such as pickle manufacture etc; Orthotic Appliance Centre manufactures locomotor aids for the disabled which are sold primarily to underprivileged challenged individuals at below market price and the Physiotherapy unit which provides treatment for severely disabled children. Home Based Training is for people with serious disabilities and the Community Based Training And Rehabilitation programme operates in ten villages around Bangalore.

The most prominent among the institutions run by APD is perhaps the Shraddhanjali Integrated School (SIS). Established in 1973, SIS is recognised by the government of Karnataka and has 217 students instructed by 14 teachers on its muster. Each class whose strength is restricted to an upper limit of 20 students, comprises 15-16 children with physical disabilities. "We ensure that classroom numbers are small so that teachers can give personal attention to every child. Every class functions with a teacher who is specially trained in teaching disabled children. Volunteers support teachers by giving additional tuition to slow learners and also conduct games and outdoor activities," says Basavaraj.

Basavaraj is well aware that the promotion of special schools for the physically challenged is not the best way to educate them and that mainstreaming is a preferable alternative. "To the extent possible, classrooms should be mirror images of society comprising able-bodied and challenged pupils. But given that most mainstream schools decline to admit challenged students on one pretext or another, we had no alternative but to establish SIS which is actually an inclusive school inasmuch as over 20 percent of students are able bodied. Contrary to popular academic opinion, mixing challenged and able-bodied children in classrooms is good for challenged children because they learn to live with their able-bodied co-students, and teach the latter the virtues of patience, care and compassion. Moreover the rub off on teachers too is positive — they become friends and enablers of students," says Basavaraj.

Absolutely convinced that physically challenged individuals who receive mainstream education can become fully contributing members of society, APD also boasts an active career placement cell. Several APD alumni have been recruited into industry and by horticulture firms etc, and some have promoted their own small-scale businesses. According to Basavaraj, inclusion of the disabled into mainstream education and society is a human rights issue. "Every physically challenged individual given appropriate education has the potential and compensatory abilities to become a participating, tax-paying member of society. But for this to happen every child needs to grow and learn amidst abled peers. In APD we are working towards creating a replicable training environment to mainstream India’s large number of challenged children," he says.

With an estimated 30 million challenged but high potential children out of school, it’s imperative that the APD model is replicated successfully.

The Force be with you!

Admission & fees

The Association of People with Disability runs nine education and training centres in its campus in suburban Bangalore. They include:

Shraddhanjali Integrated School. Class I-VII English and Kannada medium Karnataka state syllabus. Enrollment: 217; Fee: Rs.200 per annum

Industrial Training Centre: One year ITI training and certification

Eligibility: SSLC; Intake: 100 per year; Enrollment: 140; Fee: Rs.2,400 per annum

Horticulture Training Unit: Six months basic horticulture course. No basic qualification. Stipendiary training, no fee charged. Enrollment: 65

Computer Training Centre: Various certificate and diploma courses varying from two-12 months. Eligibility: Ability to read and write English. Enrollment: 72. Fee: Rs.500-3,500

Admission: Apply in January for admission for the June intake of students into the Shraddhanjali Integrated School. For admission into Industrial Training Centre, Horticulture Training Unit, Computer Training Centre and Vocational Training contact APD for dates and deadlines: APD, Hennur Road, Lingarajapuram, St. Thomas town post, Bangalore 560 084; Tel: 080-25475165; e-mail:

Srinidhi Raghavendra (Bangalore)

Purdue University, USA

Since it was generously endowed by John Purdue in 1869, 22 alumni of Purdue University have been selected for America’s space missions and four have won the Nobel Prize

Purdue campus scene: strong India connection
Sited in West Lafayette (a two-hour drive from Chicago) since it was promoted in 1869, Purdue University has acquired a global reputation for the quality of its academic programmes in the sciences and engineering in particular. Since then 22 of its alumni have been selected for space missions and four have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry. Little wonder that U.S News & World Report ranks Purdue among the top 20 public universities in America and its schools of engineering eighth and management 17th among all US varsities. Moreover the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education ranks Purdue’s department of hospitality and tourism management No. 1 in the US.

Promoted 135 years ago as a land-grant university, Purdue is named after John Purdue who generously endowed $150,000 and 100 acres of land for establishing the university. Currently one of the largest varsities in USA with an enrollment of 69,044, Purdue has 11 statewide locations, apart from its main campus in West Lafayette. The university offers a wide range of associate, bachelor’s, Masters and doctoral degree study programmes to its students. They include more than 500 undergraduate and 70 graduate fields of study offered by 12 schools.

Dr. Martin Jischke
Comments Dr. Martin C. Jischke, the tenth president of Purdue who visited India last October: "Purdue is at a pivotal point in its history, marked by growth and positive change. As we pursue the goals of this strategic plan over the next three years, we have positioned the university to reach the next level — pre-eminence. It is an exciting beginning and a promising future." An alumnus of Illinois Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and formerly president of Iowa and Missouri universities, Jischke took charge at Purdue in 2000.

Apart from the fact that the first man on the moon (Neil Armstrong) and the last man to leave it (Eugene A. Cernan) are Purdue alumni, this varsity boasts a strong India connection. Its alumni from India include G.V. Prasad, executive vice chairman and CEO of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories; C.N.R. Rao, honorary president, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore; Dr. Sowmyanarayanan Sadagopan, director, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore and Ravi Venkatesan, chairman of Microsoft India.

West Lafayette. Purdue’s main campus is in West Lafayette (pop. 28,778), Indiana, which abuts the scenic Great Lakes region of the United States. Situated 600 ft. above sea level, West Lafayette is just an hour from Indianapolis (105 km), the state capital of Indiana and two hours from Chicago (203 km). The town, which is home to people from over 54 countries, has an outstanding municipal park system with hundreds of acres of parkland, plus an outdoor riverfront ice skating rink, historic community and nature centres, swimming pool and a nationally-recognised trails network that take you from one end of town to the other.

Moreover the West Lafayette civic authorities and Purdue University have collaboratively built an innovative, knowledge-based local economy which is still evolving and expanding. The 650-acre Purdue Research Park, established in 1961, hosts more than 100 hi-tech companies with over 2,500 employees and offers state-of-the-art communication infrastructure, world-class research facilities, a business incubation complex to help start-up firms and scenic walking trails and lakes.

West Lafayette enjoys four diverse seasons — snowy winters; vibrant springs; warm, bright summers, and colourful autumns. The area’s mean temperature is about 50 0 F.

Campus facilities. Purdue University’s main campus in West Lafayette is spread across a massive sprawl of 2,468 acres offering an aesthetic blend of traditional and modern buildings. The campus has 157 major buildings. Prominent among them are the Steven C. Beering Hall of Liberal Arts and Education with 53 classrooms and teaching labs; Academy Park, a 245,000 sq.ft mall with plazas, seating areas and a large shaded lawn; Founders Park, 21.18 acres of landscaped plazas including walks, trees, tables, seating, lighting and mountain vistas; Food Science Building; Purdue Memorial Union and University Hall. The Hicks Undergraduate Library, 13 school and departmental libraries provide academic and reading support.

Sports facilities include the 62,500 seater Ross-Ade Stadium, Intercollegiate Athletics Facility and the Mackney Arena for basketball. The Recreational Sports Centre houses the Colby Fitness Centre and has other indoor facilities for badminton, basketball, handball, martial arts, racquetball, roller/ floor hockey, soccer, squash, tennis, volleyball and wallyball. Facilities for swimming and water aerobics are offered at the Boilermaker Aquatic Centre. Moreover students can also choose from more than 30 intramural sports, a wide variety of club sports and more than 30 group exercises. They also have the option of choosing membership from 700 student clubs and organisations.

Admission. The minimum eligibility criterion for admission into Purdue’s undergrad programmes is completion of Plus Two (class XII). Together with their international undergraduate student application forms, applicants must submit the following documentation: certified (attested true) copies of original academic documents from all secondary and post-secondary schools attended, mailed in a sealed envelope; an application fee of $30; evidence of graduation from a recognised secondary school; Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 or higher; and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) I score of 480 or higher. The last date for submitting applications is officially March 1, though Purdue admission officers advise overseas students to apply before January 15.

For further information write to the Office of Admissions, Purdue University, Schlemen Hall, 475 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2050. Phone (765) 494-5770; Fax (765) 496-6340; email; or visit

Accommodation. About one-third of undergrad students enrolled in Purdue University live on campus. The West Lafayette campus boasts 15 halls of residence which accommodate 11,660 undergrad and graduate students as well student families choosing to live on campus.

The rest of the student population lives off-campus in housing provided and maintained by members of the university’s fraternities and sororities. Nearly 20 percent of the 30,851 undergraduate students are members of the 50 fraternities and 26 sororities on campus. Housing is offered by 17 of these sororities and 40 of the fraternities. Membership is by invitation only. Students can also rent private accommodation in West Lafayette town. For more information log on to

egree programmes. Purdue offers a wide variety of study options — a choice of nearly 5,300 courses in more than 350 specialisations. At the undergrad level Purdue awards the BA and BS degrees, at the graduate MA and MS as well as doctoral degrees. The 12 academic schools include agriculture, consumer and family sciences, education, engineering, health science, liberal arts, management, medical education, nursing, science, technology, pharmacy and pharmacal sciences, veterinary medicine. Its schools for engineering, business, science, pharmacy and agriculture have consistently received top ranking from rating agencies. Moreover the university’s undergraduate studies programme allows undergrads to explore their study options and interests before they select a major — students have up to four semesters to select the major that is right for them.

Scholastic options at Purdue

At the undergraduate level, Purdue grants the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees. Also on offer are interdisciplinary programmes wherein students can combine two or more academic interests.

Undergrad programmes. At the undergraduate level, Purdue grants the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees. Students can enroll in one of the following schools/ colleges: School of Agriculture (; School of Consumer and Family Sciences (; School of Education (; School of Engineering (; School of Health Sciences (; School of Liberal Arts (; School of Management (; School of Nursing (; School of Pharmacy and Pharmacal Sciences (; School of Science (; School of Technology (; School of Veterinary Medicine (

Graduate School. Purdue’s Graduate School provides a framework for advanced study within more than 50 departments. For details of academic options visit

Bill of costs (annual)

Tuition: $ 19,950
Living expenses: $ 9,110
Books: $ 890

Total $ 29,950

NB $=Rs.45

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