At the RCA Biennial Conference held in Mount Gambier, South Australia, in May this year, Raphael CEO, Ms Priyo Lall, reported that there were some cases of the virus among Raphael staff. In all, 15 staff members tested positive, but all have recovered and have been able to resume their work at the Centre.

In July, Priyo reported:

Council Chair, Rustom Nanavatty, his wife Sanuti & Ms Priyo Lall.

‘Uttarakhand continues to be in semi lockdown and schools are not permitted to open as yet.
However we have 52 residents in the hostel at this time and teachers have started coming back on campus. As far as possible a regular schedule is being followed. Simultaneously teachers continue with the online sessions with students in Dehradun and other districts. It has been a great learning experience for both staff and students; teaching and learning virtually. Teachers are working one-to-one as doing a group session would be difficult to manage.

There has been a great change in parents’ attitudes. During the first lockdown period in March 20, there was reluctance to spare the time to attend the session and also a hesitancy in using technology. A year later many parents are very involved with their children and the
children have made great progress at home. This has been very heartening.

Online dance classes were started in June for six girls with sensory needs. This is conducted by Ms Ambika Dhasmana who is a parent of two boys with autism. Our girls love the classes which are held three times a week.
As a part of our parent training programme series, ten parents of children in the School Readiness Programme attended a virtual training in June on ‘What Is School Readiness?’

All our special educators attended an online session conducted by Mr. Rizwan Ali (Lawyer) on the Criminal Law Act (CLA), the POCSO Act and other child -protection related Acts.

In July the parents of the children in the Early Intervention Programme attended a virtual session on ‘Thinking Beyond Labelling.’ Parents shared their experiences and the challenges that they face.

Shiv Sadan

All residents in Shiv Sadan are well.

The TB hospital and OPD are slowly re-opening and there is a gradual increase in the ‘footfalls’.’

We wish all at Raphael well as they continue to navigate their way through the COVID 19 pandemic.

Susie Mackerras
RCA National Project Officer – India


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