BUDS Institutions are one of the best and humane social services among the many alternatives that Kerala has created so that India can emulate them, said Shri. M.B. Rajesh, Minister, Local Self Government Department, Government of Kerala while performing the Day Announcement and State-Level Inauguration of BUDS Day at the function held at Kerala Arts and Craft Village, Vellar, Kovalam on 16 August 2023. He added that 16 August 2023, which is celebrated as the first BUDS Day will be a memorable day in the history of BUDS Institutions run by Kudumbashree in association with Local Self-Government Institutions, a model that can be extended all over India. From this year onwards, 16 August will be observed as a day for Intellectually Challenged Children in the name 'BUDS Day' under the auspices of Kudumbashree.
The Minister also released the logo and tagline of BUDS and also inaugurated the 'Sajjam' Building Resilience Programme, which trains about one lakh Balasabha members to recognize and deal with natural calamities. The logo and tagline for the BUDS Institutions were found through a competition. Shri. Ranjith K.T. (logo) and Shri. Abhiraj R.S. (tagline) were the winners of the competition and the Minister gifted the awards to the winners during the function.
Shri. Jafar Malik IAS, Kudumbashree Executive Director, Kudumbashree explained the project. Dr. Sekhar L Kuriakose (Member, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority) released the Sajjam Handbook by giving the same to the Minister.
August 16 is the day when the first BUDS School in the state started functioning in Venganoor Grama Panchayath of Thiruvananthapuram district under the auspices of Kudumbashree in 2004. The Day Announcement and the Week Celebration have been set up with the aim of making BUDS Institutions more popular and raising intellectually challenged children into the mainstream of the society, in the context of the achievements accomplished by Kudumbashree in collaboration with the Local Self Government Institutions in this field within the last nineteen years. The day also aims to integrate more children into BUDS institutions and to provide mental support to parents. Ahead of the announcement of the day, the BUDS Week celebration was ongoing from 9 to16 August 2023. As a part of this, various programmes were organized in all BUDS Institutions across the state.
At present BUDS Institutions are functioning in 359 Local Self-Government Institutions. There are 167 BUDS Schools for children up to 18 years of age and 192 BUDS Rehabilitation Centres for those above 18 years of age. Vocational and livelihood training is given priority in Rehabilitation Centres. 11,642 people are being supported in daily living, rehabilitation and job training through BUDS Institutions. He also said that 495 teachers and 622 caretakers are serving in BUDs Institutions. The main objective of BUDS institutions is to transform intellectually challenged children from dependence to self-reliance.
A special livelihood scheme involving parents of children in BUDS Institutions is also being implemented. Rs. 3.5 crores have been sanctioned by the Government for this purpose. Programmes are designed and implemented to include the mothers of the children studying in BUDS Institutions keeping in mind that they often have to spend time with their children in the institutions. Vocational training is also being provided to the trainees above 18 years of age to ensure a steady income. Various vocational training like paper & pen making, paper file making and umbrella making are provided in this way. Currently 162 enterprises are part of BUDS Institutions.
The products prepared by the children of the BUDS Institutions under Kudumbashree District Mission are being branded under the name 'Ithal' and are brought to the market. Products like notepad, office file, seed pen, cloth bag and paper bag are branded and marketed from 14 BUDS Institutions in the district. All beneficiaries of BUDS Institutions are covered under Niramaya, a comprehensive health and safety scheme. The policy amount of the scheme is fully paid by the state government.
BUDS Institutions also give maximum encouragement to arts and sport activities to support the mental growth of the beneficiaries. BUDS Arts Festivals are organized every year for this purpose. BUDS Arts Festivals are organized at institutional, district and state levels. The curriculum at BUDS Schools includes a wide range of subjects such as music, dance, other arts and sports items and yoga. He also pointed out that Sanjeevani Agri Therapy activities are also implemented for the physical and mental awakening of children in BUDS Institutions. All BUDS Institutions are conducting agricultural activities aimed at the mental refreshment of the beneficiaries. The State Government has been providing excellent support to BUDS Institutions, including an allocation of Rs. 12.5 lakh each to 200 local bodies for infrastructural development in BUDS Institutions. He also said that 28 master trainers and 608 district-level resource persons have been trained as part of Sajjam- Building Resilience Project, which prepares about one lakh Balasabha members to deal with natural calamities.
Shri. Chetan Kumar Meena, Director, Social Justice Department, Shri, Bhagath Roofus R.S, Member, District Panchayath Division, Ms. Geetha Nazir, Kudumbashree Governing Body Member and District Panchayath Member, Ms. Jaya Nalinappan, Chairperson, Welfare, Athiyannoor Block Panchayat, Adv. Smitha Sundaresan, Kudumbashree Governing Body Member and Varkala Block Panchayat President, Ms. Anitha Y.V, Chairperson, Kudumbashree Venganoor CDS, Shri. Roofus Daniel, Former President, Venganoor Grama Panchayath, Ms. Shobana, Former Chairperson, Venganoor CDS, were also present at the function.
Dr. B. Sreejith, Programme Officer, Social Development, Kudumbashree welcomed the gathering and Shri. Ashtapalan V.S, Member, Venganoor Grama Panchayath, delivered vote of thanks.