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Muskaan is a story of collective will, determination and unwavering optimism. It was started in 1982 by parents and professionals filling up a void in required services and facilities for children and adults with intellectual disability (ID) and their families. Relentless hard work, honest intentions and clarity of focus steered the growth of Muskaan. The team had only one mission and that is creating growth opportunities and required services to enrich the lives of persons with ID. We knew that in order to live a fuller and dignified life, intellectually challenged children and adults needed education, vocational skills, employment and other growth opportunities. However, how to do it had been an immense challenge. Every step that we took in this direction taught us about its pragmatics. Small achievements on the way kept strengthening our optimism and courage. Read More


Every project that Muskaan has taken up since 1982 was a response to the needs of people with ID and their families. We discovered that people with disability in general and ID in particular live an extremely impoverished and neglected life because society sees only their disability and not their personhood. This has resulted in lack of growth opportunities e.g. education, vocational training, employment and becoming a contributing members of the society. Muskaan took up all its projects to address these needs which are interconnected and facilitate living a life of respect and dignity:

  1. Training programs addressing holistic development including vocational training

  2. Employment services

  3. Assistive living program for senior adults with ID to provide safe and dignified living after the demise of parents

  4. Family support services

  5. Awareness & advocacy for the human rights of people with ID

Each of these projects evolved with constant experimentation and review with a focus on empowerment of persons with ID through capacity building and trust on their learning potential despite limitations in intellectual functioning.

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