Lettre d’information no. 26

Sorry, in French only.

La lettre d’information no. 26 est disponible en format pdf.

Sujets traités :

Grands changements, projet commun avec Act&Help,  et d’autres bonnes nouvelles.

Deva Center, 2017

Deva Center

A center of reference for the mentally challenged in India:

Since 2016, the Center has received government support for two programs. The Deva Center is the only one certified for specialized educators in this domain.

The keywords of our philosophy, love and care given to each child.

Here are some photos illustrating our many activities.

Learning with joy

Dr Sharma, Deva Center’s physician, does a weekly checkup on each child.

Learning walking and the coordination of movement

Deva Center’s speech therapist looks to each child’s problems.

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

Blowing bubbles

Each day begins with yoga, song and meditation for all.

Development of attention and concentration

Learning simple daily acts

The practice of sport contributes to the children’s sense of balance — a key point of our educational method.

Cricket – Indian kids love to play cricket

Ball playing – helping hands

Participation in Special Olympic Games increases the children’s motivation and sense of self-respect. Each year, children of the Center receive several medals [This picture is from  2008]

Learning through play and theater.

The Lion King

Music, initiation to rhythm and listening to music

Integration into family life, meal preparation

Integration into social life, meals in common

The three “Rs”, reading, writing and ‘rithmetic

Learning concentration and coordination through play.

Helping the mothers to accompany their child in their daily family life


Development of the senses – vision,  touch and smell

Ramji teaching special educators

Educators being educated

Integration into social life by manufacturing products (serving lunch?)

Helping with what?

What is going on here? Helping to do what? Writing?

Helping to do what?

Peace, joy and togetherness

Lettre d’information no. 25

La lettre d’information no. 25 est disponible en format pdf.

Sujets traités :

Les événements de l’année : délocalisation du siège social ; la retraite pour les employés ; le magic show de l’Abbé Slim.

Target achieved: A retirement benefit for employees

Thanks to a generous donor and with the support of the AnBer Foundation, an exceptional donation of three hundred thousand euros will allow us to fulfill our dream of giving a retirement pension to the 17 employees of the Deva Center who have devoted themselves for more than ten Years to our work. They will be able to benefit from their last salary indexed after 60 years and this until the end of their life. This contract was awarded with the Life Insurance Corporation of India, the insurance company founded by the state.

Among these 17 veteran employees, the oldest is the general secretary Shyamji, who has more than 28 years of seniority.

In addition to each ones receiving his full salary after reaching the age of 60, each will be allocated a small capital. This will be a compensation for the low wages they have accepted by necessity, despite their competence and their continuing education. We are happy for and with them.

Acquisition of land and construction of a building in Bachhaon

In order to receive the support of the government or large corporations, we must either have a renewable nine-year lease, which is virtually impossible to obtain from a landlord today, or own the site of our operations .

As announced in newsletter no. 24, the audit of our actions by the founders of the ATPAR (Alliance To Promote Abilities and Rehabilitation) took place. Thilakam Rajendra, a Delhi woman specializing in NGO management, andher husband came to spend four days with us. For over 30 years, she has analyzed the actions of all NGOs in India in their successes and failures. Thus the government has chosen her to create a counseling center for the creation and distribution of objects made by people with disabilities. One such site was the Muskaan Center in Delhi, which our president visited during his last visit to Delhi, as well as various others in the capital, accompanied by Thilakham.

It was within the framework of the office of this governmental commission in which Dr. Tulsi sat that he came to know Thilakam. Since then, she and her husband have created the ATPAR. As for Rajendran, her husband, who is the executive of large companies, he brings his economic and financial knowledge to bear. The aim of their company is to advise NGOs in any changes or reorientation necessary in order to achieve autonomy. For example, at our request for an audi, Dr. Tulsi called on them to develop the restructuring and reorganization needed by Deva Center after 28 years of operation.

Following this report, we decided, in order to receive subsidies from the government or large companies (They have been obliged by law for two years to give 1% of their turnover to charitable organizations), to engage administrative procedures for our head office to be officially registered in the village of Bachhaon, currently the site of the center fo young women of the village, the Annapurna Center, where we ow land.

We are in the process of acquiring the land opposite ours, on which we will build a training center at the request of the government, which has committed to financing this program with the following objectives:

  • Offer a place of reception to the handicapped of all the surroundings of the village and to give them the possibility of undertaking a remunerative activity.
  • Enable the integration of young women and the disabled and ensure the training of specialized educators.
  • Set up a tool for the production of handicrafts in the same building.

In order to do so, from a group of twenty psychology students from Benares Hindu University who came to conduct a clinical course at Dr. Tulsi’s in April, six have accepted the mission to go to the neighboring villages to identify the disabled there. The results of their study will allow us to design the configuration of the buildings to accommodate them and at the same time ensure the training of other caregivers which the government has offered to Dr. Tulsi and his team.

A training center for caregivers will be set up there, as well as a handicraft production workshop for handicapped people in this enlarged area currently used by young women at the Annapurna Center. They will be able to make handcrafted objects with the handicapped, sell them and distribute them with the help of our partners of ATPAR. This will enable the integration of the disabled and the young women into a common project.


Events of the year 2016

An overview of the events of the year organized by Deva and in which we participated.

In January:

Louis Braille day – a day devoted to the handicapped and especially to the blind.

Republic day – Picnic with all the “actors” of the center; A moment of relaxation and togetherness.

In February:

Teaching Workshop for New Teaching Tools – Teaching Learning Material Kit (TLM) – reserved for special educators. Presence of French visitors and J-M Tassel, present in the different workshops.

In March:

Medical screening camp organized for employees and their families.

Inauguration of the exhibition of paintings by the children of the Deva Center.

Uttar Pradesh Sports Competition for the Handicapped.

Teaching workshop of the new TLM tools offered by educators to the children’s parents of the Center.

With the support of the Chief of Police, Dr. Tulsi’s day of mental awakening for the police in Varanasi so that they could become aware of the importance of the inventory of these and learn how to help them and accompany them. This event received much attention in the local media.

In April:

World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April.

In May:

Meeting with each of the sponsored children of the CEP program.

Meeting day at the center with all parents and their children.

In June:

Award of the Order of Merit by the District Magistrate to Dr Tulsi representing the authorities, for thirty years of social service.

Dr. Tulsi’s lecture at the University on new approaches and new TLM tools to address mental disability.

In July:

Presentation of prizes and medals to participants of the Uttar Pradesh Olympic Games.

In August:

Celebration of independence day with a program created with and by the children.

Visit by women of the Varanasi Rotary Club  to the young women of the Annapurna Center in the village of Bachhaon who had prepared a sumptuous lunch. We expect effective support from the ladies of Rotary.

In September:

Meeting day for accompanying persons and teachers of the Deva Center; feedback, suggestions, clarification and proposed changes.

In October:

Visit by teachers and pupils of Arian Mahila College to introduce them to the difference and to enable them to understand the richness of the relationship with people with mental disabilities.

Participation in the “Deepshika Mela”, the festival of lights celebrated with the candles made by the children.

In November:

As announced in newsletter no. 24, the audit of our actions by the founders of the ATPAR (Alliance To Promote Abilities and Rehabilitation) took place. The results are presented in another post.

Help Line – the Surya project

Last November, Deva-Europe launched a new program of help for the most needy in Nagwa, which is the neighborhood located at the extreme south end of Varanasi. We called this program Sun, “Surya” in Hindi, a way of giving hope and introducing sun into the lives of these people. For this purpose, Uphadyaji, who has known this district for more than thirty years, has taken on the task of finding those poor people who are abandoned by all and who have fallen into a state of miserable loneliness and helplessness.

Most of those most in need of help are elderly and widowed people or young widows in charge of their children.

Vimla Choudhury, formerly our teacher at Gangotri school, has now been given a suitable activity as an assistant to Uphadyaji and Dr. Sharma, our doctor at the Deva Center, is also participating in this program.

We started the program last March after having identified about 20 people in desperate need of help.

On the one hand we take care of street children by taking care of them after school. They go to school through the various NGOs in the neighborhood but have no place to go after classes are over, nor a trained and literate person to help them in their studies, and to give them a chance to  play or to be creative. This serious problem has now been resolved. It is Vimla who receives them and helps them in their studies – and their games.

On the other hand widowers and widows who are very old and totally abandoned as well as an isolated case of an orphaned illiterate adolescent and his three brothers and sisters are now taken care of. For this young man we have set ourselves an immediate goal, teaching him so that he will be able to read, write and count before the end of the year. He participates in classes with Vimla.

For all of these people in great need of assistance, we have set up a food  program and we have motivated the women to organize themselves to prepare meals, for everybody to meet and to create a community of mutual help in this place which we will talk to you about. It will bring some sun into their lives, a way to break their sense of being abandoned and their loneliness.

We have ever since 2000 been hoping that we might be able to restore an abandoned palace from the 1930s. It is a trust, the Vedic center “Ruiya Pathshala” which was created by a family from Calcutta and is currently in a legal vacuum, which led to its being abandoned. Thanks to Uphadyaji we managed to obtain the agreement of the person in charge to use it and to welcome these children and these old people. We have now taken the first big step to acquire this wonderful place, maybe temporarily, but right now  we are there. The future will tell us if we can take it over entirely. We will do everything possible to achieve this goal. The Surya program has found its home there. It is located in Nagwa just a stone’s throw from the Ganges and from Assi Ghat, an ideal location to help the wretched in this district.


Welcome to the new Deva-Europe!

In the heart of Benares — Varanasi being its official Indian name, Kashi for Hindu devotees – Deva-Europe brings support to Dr. Tulsi, who heads the Deva Center for mentally handicapped children.

Building on the success of other, previous projects – preparatory schools for poor children and ashrams for leprosy victims – Deva-Europe and DISCC (“Deva International Society for Child Care”) henceforth are focusing their efforts on helping mentally handicapped children. At the same time, they continue to maintain the Annapurna Center for Young Women in an Indian village near Varanasi.

Dr Tulsi, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, created the first center for mentally handicapped children in Uttar Pradesh, the state where Varanasi is located, in 1988. In 1991, he founded the D.I.S.C.C. (Deva International Society for Child Care) of which he is founding president. This foundation has been recognized by the Indian government and is approved under the Foreign Contribution Registration Act, allowing it to receive funds from abroad.  Deva-Europe has supported the DISCC since 2000. Today, educators and their families still need our help to survive and carry on their mission of bringing dignified lives to mentally handicapped children.


Lettre d’information no. 24

La lettre d’information no. 24 est disponible en format pdf.

Sujets traités :

Constitution d’une nouvelle équipe à Blandas. Etude pratique des objectifs atteints par la D.I.S.C.C afin de créer un centre de référence en Inde dans le handicap mental. Les événements de 2015-2016.