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Biography of Pathway founder released

Staff Reporter

NGO and U.S- based institution plan rehabilitation centre for mentally challenged children

Photo: K.V.SRINIVASAN

GREAT MINDS: (From left) Agricultural Scientist M.S. Swaminathan with William Sheffield, chairman, Pathway, at the book launch held in Chennai on Saturday. —

CHENNAI: “In a world of violence, it is people like Mr.Prasad who bring peace.” – This is how Member of Parliament and agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan described the founder of the non-governmental organisation Pathway, ADSN Prasad, at a function to launch his biography, Prasad Enroru Thai, here on Saturday.

The event was also significant for the beginning of a new partnership between Pathway and US-based Sabin Children Foundation to set up a rehabilitation centre for mentally challenged children in Madurantakam soon. The centre will work towards physical, social, educational and vocational integration of challenged children..

William Sheffield, Chairman of Pathway, and former judge of the Supreme Court in California participated. Speakers commended his generous support to the cause of rehabilitating mentally challenged children for the past 20 years. Mr. Prasad recalled how Mr. Sheffield had invented a “banana slicer,” patented and marketed the product in the U.S. to raise funds for Pathway.

Mr.Prasad is a speech therapist who initially worked with children with learning disabilities. The NGO has transformed the lives of nearly 20,000 children. In this biography, penned by Tamil journalist Ranimaindan, the efforts that went into setting up Pathway have been documented. The aayahs who worked for the NGO in its early years have also been fondly remembered in the book.

Minister for Social Welfare Geetha Jeevan said that Early Intervention Centres were important to identify disability in children. She lauded the efforts of Pathway in this area. She said the government would support the organisation with Rs.5 lakh as fund. The government would also use their expertise in this area to run support programmes for the disabled, she said.

The special children from Pathway had an opportunity to showcase their various talents at the event. While some have been trained to be bakers, there are some who make candles and wooden furniture.

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