ABHI (Action for Barrier-free Handicapped Integration) is a non-profit NGO which has been functioning in Shimla since 2004, working for the rehabilitation of children with severe mental/physical disabilities. The founding members of ABHI, are professionals in the field of Special education and Rehabilitation, and well equipped to work for the integration of these disadvantaged children into society. ABHI is registered with the State Welfare Department under their Persons with Disabilities Act and has been declared a charitable institution by the Income Tax Department and given 80G clearance.
ABHI runs a special centre in Panthaghati, Shimla. The centre has employed two special teachers, a physiotherapist, a vocational teacher, two helpers (who are mothers) and two drivers for the ambulances which transport the children. This is the regular staff, which caters to the needs of 22 children. Pooja our computer teacher, with special needs, has proved herself to be a valuable member of the staff. At the centre, the individual educational programme of each child forms the basis of their daily schedule. Physiotherapy, functional academics, group activities, vocational training, singing and dancing, yoga and computer training are part of the daily routine for the children. A mid-day meal is provided by the centre. Thus the children are provided a regular school environment structured to their individual needs.
ABHI has worked closely with the government, being a part of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Home-based programme since 2005. This programme has been path-breaking in re-defining education to include self-care skills, thereby bringing an entire section of deprived children within the education net.
ABHI co-opts the assistance of volunteers, local clubs like the Rotary and Inner Wheel and spiritual organisations like the Art of Living and the Sai foundation, in its attempt to integrate the children and their families with society.
ABHI has also worked to provide the expertise of professionals like Crista Drac (from Germany) and Purnima Jain (from Tamanna), as well as doctors and speech therapists, for guidance to parents, SSA as well as other NGOs working in the field of rehabilitation of the mentally challenged.
ABHI works not only for the welfare of children under its care, but works to provide all available assistance to as many needy children, parents and other NGOs working in this field. The underlying objective being to support the cause it has undertaken and bring about sustainable improvement in the lives of as many challenged children and their families.
Shri I.K. Gujral, former Prime Minister of India has been the Patron of this organization during his lifetime.