History

A long time ago in the year 1991 a student came to his teacher, with the news that his wife had given birth to a baby girl, and as there was some problem the child was kept in an incubator at Ahmedabad. On investigaion it was found out that  the child would be a special child.

The journey started with going to the medical college library and started collecting and reading various books on retardation. At that time no medical personal was able to give the duo a clear picture of what it would be. The duo went door to door collecting information but in vain. During that time there was only one physiotherapist in North Karnataka.

The physiotherapist promised to teach the teacher the exercises, for which the  teacher had  to go her clinic every day with the child and do the exercises. It took the child four years to learn to walk. The child's parents felt thatthey would shift base from Hubli to Mumbai where they would find avenues too help their child.The teachers asked  the parents  that  if all the parents with special children  shift to Mumbai what would happen to those children who could not afford to go to Mumbai. The parents then asked the teacher if he could take  the initiative  and help start a school for such children at Hubli.

Thus the concept of the USHAS took seed. They traveled all over India, and studied what is best in each school, so as to incorporate this into the plan. To assess the total number of intellectually challenged children in this part of Karnataka, they planned to have a camp, with the help of National Institute of Mental Health, Secunderabad and with the help of Rotary club of Hubli. The camp was for three days.Before the day of the camp there was only 28 registrations, To create awareness they wrote  an article for the local news paper Samyukta Karnataka, as a curtain raising topic. The day of the camp saw over 60 children, it was one of its kind camps, and the second day all the leading newspapers had captured  it on their front page. By the second and third day there  more than 418 cases registered right from the northern part of Karnataka to down south.

It was immediately decided to start a school. The  first helping hand they received was from the principal of Sophia School, Bangalore, Sister Jayanthi and Sister Nayana, who gave them the teaching aids and also identified a special educator who was willing to come to Hubli and run the school. It was disappointing when on the first day of the school only 3 children registered. The school was started at the local municipal hospital premises with an asebestos roof shed to call as the building and very little funds to run the school.Despite this their spirit was high
They painted the black board themselves and this still is in the school.The school continued in this place for a period of 6 years and later shifted to the ancestral house of the teacher. The teacher still remembers when he gave a lecture at BMS architectural college in Bangalore, for designing a school for the handicapped. The students asked what the area of the land for the design was, he said design the best school and then tell me the land required. The drawing won a prize in the national competition.

The teacher always felt the  need to have physiotherapy in the centre. They came to know that one  lady physiotherapist who was specialized in pediatric neuro physiotherapy and had just joined the local physiotherapy college.They went and requested her, and she liked the centre and promised to come in the evening after her college hours but were in a dilemma,as getting the children to shool in the evening was not easy.

The teacher's father-in-law had come to visit Hubli, the teacher humbly asked his father in law could he use his good books with Dr.Veerendra Heggade, the President of SDM physiotherapy and Medical College if he could organise for posting at the centre. It was God’s wish, the next day in the paper we read that Dr.Veerendra Heggade had visited Dharwad, we went to him with the request. He readily agreed to have the lady physiotherapists posting with the students at our centre free of cost.

They invested in equipments, and a long awaited dream came true. At the same time they were dreaming about a speech therapist, for this part of Karnataka they never had a speech therapist.Their prayers were answered by the advent of  a speech therapist, who came to settle at Hubli, They started the speech and language development centre. Their  dream of having an occupational therapist was also answered by a gentleman with rich experience at Manipal Hospital, who willingly came and helped with the same.

The dream of the building came also true, when three sisters donated a piece of land. Thus everything came together piece by piece to complete  the big picture joining the vision and  the dream . Today we have about 14,000 sq. ft built in area and 90 children with nineteen facilities.

The teacher always said “We only dream, for we believe that it is the divine Lords’ work that we are doing, and we are only an instrument in his hand. We also believe that we all come together for a purpose in our life, it is divine Lord’s wish that we all came together. We are thankful to the Lord for choosing us.”

Unfortunately the teacher Mr Raghu Okhade is no more with us but his vision is being carried forward by the parents of the  first student,a team of individuals and his family who share his passion.