Jai Vakeel Foundation and Research Centre, is one of the oldest and largest not for profit organizations in the country serving children and older individuals with mental challenges and other related disabilities.

The Schools mission “To train special children to their maximum potential so that one day each special child will be a contributing member of the family and a responsible citizen of India,” can be seen in all the work that they do. The school started in 1944, with 2 kids from a home and by 1949 there were over 75 students.

Today the Institute caters to over 700 people annually and serves as a ‘one stop shop’ for all the needs of a mentally challenged person with ‘associated disabilities’ e.g. Epilepsy, Autism, Cerebral Palsy etc.

Varda Arolkar by background is an Economist and Arts graduate. Her love for arts brought her to conduct an origami workshop for children with special needs during that workshop something changed. Working with these special children, seeing their “cheerful faces” she knew she wanted to work with them full time. Varda went back to school and completed her Bachelors in Special Education and has been working at the Jai Vakeel school for the last four years as a Special Educator. Passionate about bringing children with special needs a good education, Varda is a participant of the Community Mental Health Training Program and will be sharing her work and journey at A Room Full Stories.