Stigma Facing Disabled Indian Children

How would you feel if your family and society felt you were a curse upon them? That is the way so many disabled children are still made to feel in India, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Why Indian Society Stigmatizes Disabled Children

Because many rural Indians do not understand the causes of mental and physical disabilities, children with conditions like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and mental retardation are viewed as disgraces, punishments from God, or mistakes.

But at Mid India Christian Mission, we know that God does not make mistakes, which is why we founded our Oasis of Love initiative – to look after and care for those children that Indian society has cast out or left behind.

“Oasis of Love is, in my opinion, one of the best places on Earth,” says Mid India Christian Mission Executive Director Tommy Corrao. “It’s a school for handicapped children with various disabilities. Some of them have mental disabilities; some of them have physical disabilities. But when you go into this place, you can just feel the love and the joy and the hope that’s in the room.”

“These children were considered a disgrace to their families. Their families think they must have done something wrong, that’s why God is punishing them with such a child,” says Mid India Christian Mission Vice President, Sheela Lall. “So, it was a greater struggle for us to start Oasis of Love – a place where these children can earn their own identity, dignity, and respect.”

How Oasis of Love Transforms Disabled Children’s Lives

But the struggle, as Sheela describes it, has been worth it. Through Oasis of Love, Mid India Christian Mission has provided education, food, and care to hundreds of disabled Indian children.

Without Mid India Christian Mission in their lives, these children might otherwise be kept as shut-ins, abandoned, or denied the specialized care and attention they need. They would not receive the education they deserve, and they might not be able to lead the dignified life that all God’s children have been promised.

But at Oasis of Love, we provide a safe, nurturing space in which these children can reshape their lives.

“When the children first come in and they’re new, they’re joyless. Hopeless,” says Corrao. “But give it a few months, and things completely change. Oasis of Love is one of the best places to go to see a life transformed.”

How You Can Support Oasis of Love

We’ve gladly accepted the mission of both caring for disabled Indian children and transforming a culture that would otherwise revile them. We want these children to eventually leave our care equipped to succeed – which means not just giving them the tools and skills they need to build their lives, but also reshaping India to accept them.

To help us, you can simply share this article with a friend or loved one, and then ask that they pass it on to someone else that they know. You can pray that God opens the Indian people’s hearts and minds to these children’s purpose, and that He continues to bless our work.

Then, if you’re willing to learn more about the children we support through Oasis of Love and our other child sponsorship initiatives, we’d ask that you click over to our Sponsor a Child page. There, you’ll be able to see how you can sponsor and change a child’s life – and help us continue our mission to spread God’s love throughout India.