The idea of starting Riya Foundation came to mind while working for a corporate called AOL India at Bangalore. Working with this company gave us immense exposure of interacting with NGO’s and also getting involved with a few. It’s during this time that I happen to meet Keerthana, a colleague who introduced me to her family. Keerthana daughter is an autistic child. She also has a sister, Bhavan who’s a Down syndrome adult.
Few questions that lingered in my mind after meeting the family were, after the parent who? How to make them independent? How do they live a normal life with others and many more? It took us almost Three years to come up with an answer.
The answer was Riya Foundation. Keeth as she is fondly called by the kids here, wanted to provide the children at Riya the same comfort and care that she gives to her own child. Coming from a corporate background we wanted to raise the bar and run the institution like a corporate keeping accountability and transparency in mind. Though we are a nonprofit organization we aim at running it like any corporate company looking at making it into a self sustained model.
What’s different at Riya?
- At Riya we have trained in-house staff available 24/7 living with the inmates. Teaching them daily living skills in every step of theirs.
- Our model is designed keeping the parent in mind. For example if a parent wants to leave the child for few hours or for just few days in a week or for a life time, it’s all accommodated. The parent is the king.
- Our inmates are taken to the Beach, Restaurant, Malls, theater, School of their choice, Family functions, Concerts etc. thus giving them a social life too.
- Emphasis is on identifying the Childs talent and promoting it.
- Our inmates are provided with the best of clothing, hygienic and nutritious diet, Food of their preference and a balanced lifestyle.
- The accommodation is a home set up to ensure the feeling of being at home and not a hostel.
Inmates above the age group of 18 and above are trained and employed with corporate to perform small jobs tasks like filing, photocopying, coffee vending etc with assistance of a caretaker. At Riya we aim at normalizing their life and making them like you or me. There are not treated special not are made to feel that they suffer from a disability.
Riya foundation is looking at being an extended family of the child.