According to figures from the World Health Organisation 15% of the world’s population has a disability. In low- and middle-income countries such as Bangladesh this is 20%, 80% of which live in poverty. Many of these people with disabilities face exclusion and discrimination. In many cases, people with disabilities simply feel invisible because they are hidden in their homes out of shame or for practical reasons.
Finding the right kind of support for children with intellectual disabilities is in Bangladesh quite difficult, as many parents don’t have all the information they need. Their search most often ends at a local quack who promises them to expel the ‘evil’ from the child, often with terrible consequences. The main causes of disability are found in the lack of good health care, poor nutrition, absence of adequate sanitation and drinking water facilities, child marriage and traffic accidents. Over 30% of girls aged 15 to 19, are a mother to one or more children. Six percent of the girls even give birth to a child before they are 15 years old. Young mothers eat less during their pregnancy to prevent a difficult delivery. However, still many of their children are born with a severe lack of oxygen, resulting in brain damage.
Niketan invests in a future for children and youth with disabilities. Therefore, we closely follow the health needs and changing demands of the children and adjusts the care system towards their needs. Niketan is committed to remove barriers for people with disabilities and give them equal opportunities in society. To improve the living conditions and future opportunities for young people Niketan focuses on providing qualitative good care, development of vocational training and sheltered housing and workplaces.