“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
When it all began…
Snehadhara Foundation (SF) started its journey out of a 3 BHK house in a residential area in J.P. Nagar, in 2012. Literally ‘stream of love,’ Snehadhara got its name from Sneha, one among the small group of children to attend the fledging Direct Care Centre for people with special needs. In the last 10 years, the organisation has grown manifold, sprouted new branches and wings besides catering directly to more than 1000 children and adults with special needs. We think the ingenious part in the implementation all our projects is the medium we choose to interact with children, for children to interact with their peers, for the mainstream society to interact with each other. With the therapeutic use of visual arts, drama, sound and voice, dance and movement, we today are the pioneers in Arts Practices for Inclusion. The daily tasks of offering care to children and adults with special needs, doing advocacy and building an environment for inclusion through arts practices, culminated in the sprouting of two more divisions – impART and Prajnadhara.
Prajnadhara, our division for training of arts practitioners to seed our methods of working in far reaching ways has risen from strength to strength. The division began its work in 2016 with the Study of the Mind Series by hosting Masters in the field of Indian mind traditions and bringing their teachings to people in an accessible way through talks and online streaming. Since 2017 we began a journey to train practitioners in art based therapy, a method to bring about therapeutic outcomes for children with special needs.
impART, our division for training looks at creating an inclusive society by imparting training in Arts Practices for Inclusion began in 2015. impART has incubated various outreach projects with inclusive schools, learning centres and mainstream & government schools. It has imparted training to over students, teachers, parents, therapists, professionals and educationists.
Where are we now….
Starting April 2020, Snehadhara Foundation occupies its own campus in Nelamangala, surrounded by trees, much more silence, space and a better quality of daily life than the city can give. A first semi-residential facility in the outskirts of the city is all set to provide care, comfort and nourishment at many levels to children and adults with special needs. Along with housing the Direct Care centre, this campus has also been envisioned as an Artist Retreat Centre and will be a host venue for the one-of-its-kind Arts Practices for Inclusion (API) course. We see this campus developing into a haven for artists and seekers of wellbeing.
Based on Prajnadhara’s experience in training of over 62 practitioners, a need was felt to design a first-of-its-kind course which deals specifically with the application of Arts Practices for Inclusion (API) for all populations at risk of exclusion. API was launched in Argentina in 2019. It has trained 11 supervisors from across India seed its methods in different locations. The course has travelled to Nepal and is being launched in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as well. Today Prajnadhara offers a three-day introductory course in arts practices and a one-year certification as well. Participants for these courses are not only persons working with special needs but a spectrum of health and care work such as geriatric care, therapy for survivors of sexual abuse, care for children and adults at risk of or suffering economic, social and human right violations. impART has grown from height to heights. Since its launch in 2015 it has trained nearly 1900 educators, teachers and trainers in arts practices.
Through its three divisions, Snehadhara Foundation has worked with over 50,000 children through direct and indirect interventions, trained and certfied over 2000 professionals and engaged with around 400 organisations in the country and overseas. Snehadhara’s mission has been to facilitate greater social inclusion for the children and adults. SF aspires for them to be a part of relationships, community spaces and institutions occupied by mainstream populations where they may face exclusion.