Asha-2, a daycare center for disable children was opened on April 29 in Dhaka
Archbishop Paulinus Costa of Dhaka has opened the third daycare center for disable children in the capital city to accommodate more vulnerable kids in Church services.
Asha (Hope)-2 was formally opened on April 29 in Tejturibazar area in the center of the city. It can look after 20 children, free of charge for parents who cannot afford to take care of them or who work during the day.
About 70 participants, mostly disabled people and their parents, along with Church leaders and Caritas Bangladesh officials, attended the opening ceremony.
“The center is disabled-friendly. We’ve set it out in such a way that the kids can easily use chairs and tables, electric switches and toilets. It will also help them to dress, eat and clean tables by themselves”, said Binoy Rodriques, 41, the center director.
The center, which was set up with personal efforts from Holy Cross auxiliary bishop Theotonius Gomes of Dhaka, is set to give parents a break from the challenges of family life as they struggle with the disabilities of their children.
“My autistic and physically disabled son doesn’t listen to us and often gets angry with us. I hope the center will help him improve and become peaceful,” said Catholic housewife Anjona Gomes, 45.
Muslim Rejaul Karim, 50, said he was happy because my disabled daughter can now be kept near his residence, just two minutes walking distance. He used to drop his daughter Farjana Karim, 15, at the Church-run Father Pinos Dropping Center in Mirpur, on the northern outskirts of Dhaka.
A Muslim mother, Amena Begum, said the Church-run daycare center is making a difference.
“My disabled son used to vandalize the household at will. He didn’t listen to anyone and also got lost several times,” she recalled, adding that her son completely changed after he was kept in Asha-1 at Nayanagar in eastern Dhaka.
Bishop Theotonius Gomes, the mastermind of the welfare services who is the chairman of Episcopal Commission for HealthCare (ECHC), said: “We try to help parents realize that disabled children are not their burden. Even though they are born with disabilities they should be welcomed as gifts of God.”
Poor families struggle with disability