Residential School (Naigaon)


The Society for the Education of the Challenged (SEC) (Child and Adult) was founded by Fathema Ismail in 1959. It operates through 3 schools in Mumbai, Agripada, Antop Hill and Santacruz.  

Tehmina Barma came up with the idea of setting up SEC Centre for Independent Living (CIL) in Maval Taluka in 1989 to rehabilitate orthopedically handicapped children in rural areas. It was housed in 3 cottages in Talegaon General Hospital and was shifted to the Kanhe Phata premises in October 1993. In 2011, SEC bought Land in Naigaon and constructed its own building in 2015.  

Over years since its inception at Maval Taluka, SEC has surveyed and identified orthopedically handicapped children. SEC’s unique contribution has been in providing and extending services as and when needed, suited to rural needs.

New premises


  1. Educational
  2. Residential and other facilities
  3. Physical Rehabilitation through correctional surgery, mobility aids
  4. Physiotherapy and caliper workshop
  5. Vocational Unit



The orthopedically differently-abled students of rural areas either do not go to school at all or start at a later age or are extremely irregular in attendance. Hence, educationally they remain backward. Their physical rehabilitation is also delayed or neglected due to the economic problems of the family, the paucity of rehabilitative services, and the distance at which they are available. 

Hence, SEC Center for independent living has a residential Primary School up to 4th Std. The Maharashtra Government has recognized this school as a special school and given grant–in–aid for 40 children. The school follows the Zilha Parishad Curriculum. The medium of language taught is Marathi, with languages uch as English and Hindi being taught along with other subjects. 

After passing the fourth standard, they become Ex. Students. However, since these students stay in villages, very far from the school, SEC provides residential accommodation in our Naigaon School to all our Ex-students studying in outside schools from fifth to tenth grade.

For studies from fifth to seventh grade, the children are integrated into Zillaparishad Pathamik Kendra Shala, Kanhe, and for a study from eighth to tenth grade, the students are integrated into Shri Chatrapati Shivaji Vidya Mandir, Kanhe.



The hostel can house around 50 children. It has 

  1. Two dormitories for boys 
  2. One dormitory for girls
  3. One room for Caretakers.
  4. A well–equipped kitchen with a storeroom and a dining hall. 
  5. Apart from the primary school children, the residential facility is extended to older children attending secondary and high school. Though almost every village has a primary school, the children have to go to big villages for further education. The distance would be 3-10 KM involving long track rough roads or a bus ride or across the river or beyond a hill. For handicapped children, this would mean an end of their education, or very irregular attendance at school, particularly during monsoons when the roads would become impassable and the transport services more than erratic. Older children from inaccessible and remote areas greatly benefit from this residential facility given to them by SEC.




At SEC for Independent Living, a team of volunteers consisting of an orthopedic surgeon, Social Workers, physiotherapists, and Workshop Assistants visit the school regularly and work in coordination with each other as per the specific needs of these children. The family members of these children are involved by SEC in their progress, so that the process of rehabilitation is complete. The Orthopedic Surgeon visits the center routinely. He checks out the rehabilitation program for the new entrants, follow-up camps of ex-students, outreach cases, and cerebral palsy children. He conducts all corrective surgeries.



Physiotherapy was unheard of in rural areas. The children who were fitted with calipers were left to their own devices regarding gait training and even caliper checking. Realizing this great need a physiotherapist has been coming to the Centre every day. Caliper utilization is very much emphasized at SEC for Independent Living. And that means keeping them in good condition. Getting 40 to 50 calipers for residential and non-residential (ex-students), periodically repaired was a big challenge. They had to be carted to Pune city to get them repaired – for even minor repairs. Hence the workshop was started to undertake minor and major repairs. Today the workshop makes new calipers and crutches of good quality, that can withstand the rough usages in rural areas. Also, other appliances that are required for children including splints, walkers, spinal jackets, etc. are made in the workshop. 

Apart from repairs and replacement of mobility aids for the resident students, the workshop also benefits the ex-students and others whom SEC helps in physical rehabilitation by providing them with these appliances at basic cost. It saves them expenses and time in traveling to the city.  For outsiders, SEC operates on a no profit no no-loss basis, and thus for them the services are cheaper.



The Vocational unit was established in 1996 keeping in mind the future of these children. This Vocational training unit trains boys and girls above 16 years. They get trained in tailoring, making purses, pouches, and bags of different types, mobile repairing, jewellery making, knitting, etc. The trainees are accommodated in the hostel. They are encouraged to complete their education up to S.S.C. Their physical rehabilitation is attended to. They get an opportunity to interact with their peer group and gain confidence as their disability lessens and they acquire a skill and learn to live independently. A follow-up and contact with the students is maintained. The department takes orders from outside and the ex-trainees are called in to do the job work. This gives them practice and additional income.

This is how SEC coordinates the activities of various units of SEC for Independent Living to physically, educationally, and socially backward children by rehabilitating the orthopedically handicapped persons and giving them a start to lead an independent life.

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