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Swayamkrushi, is a voluntary organisation established in 1991 and is located in Secunderabad, Telangana. It was the only institution of its kind in the country and has been spear heading the movement to increase the awareness about and inclusion of adults with developmental challenges into the society / community. It is dedicated to the rehabilitation, education and integration of adults with developmental / intellectual disabilities. The aim is to build and develop a symbiotic relationship between the disabled individuals and their immediate community. This has helped in bridging the existing social and emotional chasms between the community and the disabled individuals. This has proved to be a grand success.

Recognising its contribution to the cause of mainstreaming persons with Intellectual Disability, Swayamkrushi has been made the State Nodal Agency Centre (SNAC) for the National Trust (Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment).The National Trust, was established by an Act of Parliament in 1999 for the Welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disability and Multiple Disabilities. National Trust works towards providing opportunities for capacity development of persons with disability and their families with an aim of facilitating them, promoting the creation of an enabling environment and an inclusive society and thus fulfilling their rights.


To house and train intellectually challenged adults before facilitating their employment and independent living within the community


To build a society in which the less fortunate persons live with dignity, pride and as productive members of the society.

Rehabilitation of Intellectually Challenged

The core idea consists of placing the challenged individuals in ‘Group Homes’ while providing them supervision and training. Each home has eight trainees and is managed by a resident staff member. The model aims at

  •  Providing family life for the young people with intellectual disabilities.
  •  Provide opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities to undergo normal developmental experiences.
  •  Give experience to people with intellectual disabilities in the management of household work independently.
  •  Ease people with intellectual disabilities into the idea of living in one place and work at another place just like other normal persons of the society.
  •  Facilitate the integration of the intellectually challenged persons into the community.

Experts from various disciplines such as education, physiotherapy, speech therapy and vocational training under the supervision of qualified and experienced special educators and social workers work hand-in-hand for providing better facilities, better training co ordination and effort. Some of the training facilities are as below.

The treating team comprises of disciplines determined by the individual's needs and goals. A comprehensive assessment precedes an intensive training program, where the mentally challenged are coached in multiple areas like – hygiene, safety, money and home management, vocations, problem solving and judgment skills.This lasts for a period of two years and results in self-reliance of the individual.

The program is occasionally extended for another year for those who may benefit from advanced training. After completion of the training, the individual is given employment and placed within the community. The process is accompanied by training in areas specific to the individual like – taking bus routes, changing busses.

  •  Some students live with their parents/guardians and attend the program as day scholars.
  •  The whole model has been implemented with unparalleled success and efficiency.
  •  Swayamkrushi currently maintains five homes and is growing rapidly to meet the increasing demand for this program.
  •  Mentally challenged persons trained from the date of Inception.
  •  Swayamkrushi – Socio-cultural Integration

The major focus is on developing skills in community living. Young people with mental retardation are given training in natural environs. On completion of training, they are able to go for grocery shopping, milk booth, tailor shops etc and are able to lead an independent life. Some can operate minor bank transactions also.

The best way to integrate into community life is through festivals and our mentally challenged individuals participate in festivals like Diwali, Dasera, pongal, Holi, Ganesh chathurthi, Christmas, Ramzan etc. The focal point is the ‘ Aarthi’ and ‘Kumkum’ ceremony. With this, the gap between normal people and handicapped people seems closed. This integration facilitates total acceptance of mentally retarded people by the society.

Mentally challenged and Fashion Show : Mentally challenged individuals from Swayamkrushi participated in a Fashion Show organised by Rotaract Club in 1995. The unique feature was that the mentally challenged individuals walked on the ramp with the regular models. It was greatly appreciated by the media and the audience.

National Cadet Corps (NCC) Camps – a pioneering feat : In January 1996, Swayamkrushi girls and boys participated in the combined Annual Training Camp. In the camp they were exposed to Camp-Craft, Map Reading, Weapon-Training and First-Aid. Again in January 2000, they participated in NCC camps and had good exposure to Cook-house, Reception counter, Medical room and Sentry duties. This experiment of integrating mentally handicapped with the NCC cadets is the first of its kind in India . The NCC Directorate of Telangana has included the integration program with Swayamkrushi as a part of their regular curriculum and after every exercise, they will be presenting certificates to the cadets.

Republic Day Parade : Swayamkrushi students have been participating as a separate contingent in the Republic Day Celebrations since the past 4yrs. They held their heads high and marched with pride and dignity. They are presented with certificates and mementos by the Commandant, College of Air Warfare, Secunderabad.

Fete : When Andhra Pradesh was affected with cyclone in 1996 and thousands lost their lives and homes, Lions Club of Tarnaka, organised a Fete, in aid of Andhra Relief Fund. Swayamkrushi had a stall, to display articles made by the mentally retarded people, and the proceedings were contributed to Andhra relief Fund.

This proved that the mentally handicapped are also productive members of the society.

Exhibitions : National Institute of Mentally Handicapped (NIMH) organises a stall every year in All India Industrial Exhibition for Voluntary organisations working in the field of special education. Every year Swayamkrushi is given two days to display their talents and skills.

A day long exhibition of all handwork made by Swayamkrushi was organised on 14th October 1999 at hotel Green Park , Hyderabad . This was part of Dussera celebrations, and was inaugurated by Commissioner, Disabled Welfare.

On 22nd September 1998, we organised an exhibition of all handwork made by mentally handicapped of Swayamkrushi at Welcome Group Grand Kakatiya Hotel and Towers and everyone appreciated the innate artistic talents. An exhibition was held at Ramada Hotel in 2000, at Hari Hara Kala Bhavan in 2001 and at NIMH in 2002. Public are amazed with the demonstrations shown by the students.

Recreational activities
  •  Swayamkrushi bagged the 2nd prize in Group Singing at ‘National Festival of Music and Dance’, organised by NIMH at Ravindra Bharathi in the first week of November 1999.
  •  At the World Disabled Day on 12th December 1999, organized by St. Mary’s High School, Secunderabad, Swayamkrushi bagged the First prize in group singing.
  •  On 17th December 1999, students from St. Francis College , Secunderabad, visited Swayamkrushi and distributed sketch pens and had a fruitful interaction with the mentally handicapped students.
  •  “Walk a Mile” program was organised on Dec, 10th 2000.This event was flagged off by Dr.C.Rangarajan, Governor of A.P. Film actor Mr.Jagapathibabu and college students participated in the walk.
  •  Swayamkrushi also participated in the world Heart day program organised by Dr. Reddy's Laboratories at Nizam’s grounds. Students entertained the public.
Other Activities

Sporting Events : Sports and cultural events are organised regularly and Swayamkrushi students participate in them. Girls and boys who have participated in National Olympics for the handicapped on 18th and 19th November 1996, won four gold medals and one silver medal.

  •  Some students live with their parents/guardians and attend the program as day scholars.
  •  The whole model has been implemented with unparalleled success and efficiency.
  •  Swayamkrushi currently maintains five homes and is growing rapidly to meet the increasing demand for this program.
  •  Mentally challenged persons trained from the date of Inception.
  •  Swayamkrushi – Socio-cultural Integration

Excursions : The students and staff of Swayamkrushi went on an excursion trip to Kanyakumari and Chennai on March 20th to March 25th 1999. They enjoyed the spirit of holiday and the community life. Traveling public in trains and railway platforms and at cottages interacted with our students very informally. Excursion trips were arranged to basar, Shirdi and Thirupathi, wherein they experienced the spirit of holidaying, which includes sight-seeing, group-living by train/bus etc.

Picnics and outings are regularly organised for the students and staff.They attended a picnic with the Round table members, where no staff member accompanied, thus giving the hosts and opportunity to see how independent the inmates have become Seminars / Workshops organized.

Swayamkrushi organised a Workshop on ‘ Early identification and rehabilitation or persons with Cerebral Palsy‘ in collaboration with World Health Organisation and Director General of Health Services, Government of India, from 5th March to 7th March 1995 at Hotel Viceroy, Hyderabad the National Seminar on ‘Group Home for persons with Mental retardation' was held in National Institute for Small Industry Extension Training on 13th and 14th April 1998 by Swayamkrushi in collaboration with National Institute of Small Industries Extension Training Centre, Hyderabad.

Visits : Students doing their Masters in Psychology from Women’s Christian College , Chennai visited Swayamkrushi on January 30th, 2000. They expressed their admiration for the group-home concept and wanted to replicate the concept in Chennai.

DSE(MR) students from all over India , visited Swayamkrushi, to see a new model on rehabilitation of the mentally challenged people.Similarly, DVTRTC students from Calcutta , visited on February 24th 2000.

Thirty parents from Mumbai visited and expressed their wish to replicate this model in Mumbai.

Swayamkrushi -Empowering Activities : To make the persons with mental retardation self-reliant, we train them in various vocations like sweet-box making, tailoring unit, marketing cut-vegetables, cushion-making unit, arts and crafts unit, screen-printing unit, gift-bag making unit, greeting cards, soft toys and making agarbattis. We also, train them in self-employment opportunities like managing a coffee-vending machine, wet-grinder, dry-grinder etc.