Initial Journey

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A child born with mental disorder was not his fault. Similarly, mental disorder due to some illness at childhood was also not a fault of the child but it was due to lack of proper and timely medical treatment. About 50 years back, parents of such children were not in a position to take proper care of these children, particularly when they are grown-up, as there were no such Institutions to teach them the methods of handling mentally challenged children. Also there were hardly any Institutions, who were taking care of such children. Smt. Nandini Divatia, who was born Social Worker, believed that Mentally Challenged persons can be trained to tap their maximum potential so that they become Self Sufficient and Independent.  Realising this problem of the Society, she thought of doing something for such mentally challenged, Adult Men & Women and she founded “Society for The Vocational Rehabilitation of the Retarded” in the month of June 1965.   Institution was registered under BPT Act of 1956 and Society Registration Act (SRA) of 1860.

She got valuable support of  Social workers like Shri Fali S Chothia; the then Director- Vocational Training College, Government of Maharashtra, Smt. Gool Plumber, Dr (Miss) Mani S Gamat. Later on her husband Shri. P J Divatia, who at that time was working with ICICI Ltd joined them in their efforts to establish SVRR. Since then, Shri. Divatia has been the backbone of SVRR. In 1966 Shri Bhikhubhai Shah a leading Chartered Accountant, Smt Smita Shah a Social Worker and Late Smt (Dr) Madhuri Shah, the then Head Education Inspector of Education Department Municipal Corporation of  Mumbai as well as Shri. Vinayak and Smt. Indoo Varde joined the Organisation. The first ten years, from 1965 to1975 were the period of hard work and struggle. But their efforts ultimately bore the fruits. The Social Welfare Department of Government of Maharashtra gave recognition to the Institution in 1977.  This is how “Society for the Vocational Rehabilitation of the Retarded was born”. It started its activities by opening a sheltered workshop for mentally challenged.

From 1965 to 1975, it was a period of hard work and struggle. However, this struggle bore sweet fruits. The Social Welfare Department of Government of Maharashtra gave recognition to the Institution in 1977. This inspired SVRR to expand its activities.

Our First workshop- Swami VivekanandUdyogalay started in a small space at the residence of Shri. Rajyadhaksha, the then Principal of Handicraft Teacher’s Training College. This workshop started with 5 adult trainees.

Around 1967, SVRR was provided about 1200 sq.ft. of space at Kilachand Mansion, Princes Street by Bombay Municipal Corporation.
In 1991, the SVRR started a workshop for the mentally challenged women in Sindhi Galli Municipal School façade, by the name of Saudamini Mehta KanyaUdyogalay. This workshop has now merged with Swami VivekanandUdyogalay.

With expanding activities, our requirement for space also increased. Since the Municipal Corporation was closely following our activities, in 1994, they provided us 9 classrooms, of about 5000sq.ft. at Aryanagar Municipal School Building – Tardeo.

On acquiring bigger space, we started our activities with a new vigor. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, in 2011, we were compelled to shift to a smaller area of 2500 sq. ft. at Tardeo Municipal School Building, Bane Compound, Tardeo, Mumbai, from where we are functioning at present.