The girls are safe at Childlife Preserve Shishur Sevay– a fundamental reason why this home was established. The children need to FEEL safe. This is done by constant vigilance.
- We have ZERO TOLERANCE for abuse of the children, whether from outside our home or within the family. A Child Protection Policy is in place.
- CCTV cameras are installed to cover almost every corner of Shishur Sevay. This has been instrumental in identifying rare abusive behaviour. Perpetrators have been fired.
- Security guards are posted at our site 24 hours a day.
- Everyone entering and exiting Shishur Sevay must sign in and out.
- Fire extinguishers and shock proof electrical systems with circuit breakers are installed. Fire safety is regularly taught.
Health, Nutrition and Rehabilitation
When the girls came, in 2007, they were severely malnourished and several of them had skin infections. These have been successfully treated. Because of their new nutritious diet and high level of hygiene and sanitation, the girls have been able to remain incredibly healthy, hardly requiring doctor visits, other than general checkups.
Children are provided with healthy & nutritious food including cereals, lentils and beans, fruits, eggs, fish, chicken, milk, yogurt etc on a regular basis.
For medical check-up and treatments, including surgery, children have been taken to Medica Superspecialty Hospital (one of the leading hospitals in Kolkata), Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata and CMRI, Kolkata and to SEVAC Mental Health and Human Rights Resource Centre for psychological treatment and rehabilitation.
The seven month old baby who came in August 2013 had a congenital heart condition. She had a consultation with the paediatric cardiologist at Medica Super Specialty Hospital. Initially she was on medication but she was having frequent blue spells because of her heart condition. The doctor decided to do a BT Shunt, to stabilize her until she was old enough for an open heart surgery. Unfortunately she died due to complications during the surgery. We gave her the best available care but her heart wasn’t strong enough.
- Dr. Harrison’s experience in psychiatry and psychotherapy has helped in providing the required psychological support to the girls who have had severely traumatic pasts.
- All the children are being brought up to date on their immunizations.
- Over time, the children, as per their individual needs, have been receiving physiotherapy, speech therapy, and support for various kinds and levels of learning disabilities.
- We have a yoga instructor as well as an exercise and massage teacher for the children with disabilities. We use standing boxes, walkers and other orthopedic appliances to help the children develop their abilities.
- The aim is to bring each child with disability to their highest possible level of self-care, which, for each one of them, would be different.
- We have an inclusive dance and movement program three times a week.
- Therapeutic horseback riding is great for the development of individuals struggling from various kinds of disabilities as well as for recovering from different kinds of trauma. No such program was available in Kolkata. Dr. Harrison, together with intern Emily Mattson, went to Maidan, where tourists go to get horseback rides around Victoria Memorial, and turned that into a real possibility. We hope to develop this program girl by girl and we have full confidence that we will see major results in the form of strength, balance, coordination, and control.
- The medicine inventory and records have reviewed and approved by a pharmacist from the US.