Mann is dedicated to fostering independence & employability among individuals with special needs like Autism , Down syndrome, Intellectual Disability through skill training ,vocational support, physical well-being support and social skills.
Every young adult with special needs,globally,must be empowered to lead a happy and productive life.
To improve the physical, intellectual and social life of an optimum number of individuals with special needs in India , by providing them with holistic skills and training.
Our goals are ever-evolving. However, they involve meeting quantified targets with respect to spreading awareness, admitting students, welcoming voluteers and receiving donations
Supported Employment Program
This program exposes students to a range of concepts, vocabulary, and jobs, related to different vocations. The jobs can be executed from within the centers or from home like Orders from local businesses, Assembly line jobs, Corporate gifts and wedding orders.
The Mainstream Employment Programme provides training, and support to people with special needs, to gain sustainable employment This program is designed to integrate communication skills along with hands-on job specific skill training in areas like Housekeeping, Food and Beverage Service, Clerical and Labelling and Packaging. Available positions are matched to the skills of the individual, and the needs of the employer.
THE MANN STORY
The idea for Mann evolved when a weekend hobby class, started by Beverly, Geetanjali and Dilshad, gained popularity among underprivileged adults with special needs and their families. The increasing demand for regularizing this class grew among the close-knit network of people.
Fulfilling this need soon became the mission of Beverly, Geetanjali and Dilshad who sought the backing of Gautam, whose newly ignited spirit, immediately signed him up for supporting the cause. And so, Mann was born with a batch of 25 students and 5 staff members. Alongside the support of Mr. Lachmandas Ludhani, Mrs Vidhi Khubchandani and Jassibhai Bhavandas Ludhani Sindhu Darshan and Gaondevi Temple Trust and Mr. Arvind Singh, who provided Mann with rent free space, Mann has grown today to 120 students and 25 staff members
Mr. Mulchand Lalwani
Late Mr. Mulchand Lalwani was fondly referred to as “Mann” by his friends and is still lovingly remembered as “Baba” by the Mann family. He is not only at the heart of the center’s name and cause, but is the one who will be eternally viewed as both, the Father as well as the strongest pillar of Mann – Center for Individuals with Special Needs. Long before the formal inception of the center, back when this initiative was a mere concept and a “struggling attempt to do some good”, Baba ceaselessly provided his support and guidance in whichever form was the need of the hour. In helping Mann survive through its most challenging days, Baba set a strong foundation for an initiative which, today, nurtures the holistic development of an ever-growing body of special adults, with no looking back! Baba’s was a life of service, manifested in both – the hospitality he offered in his hotel business as well as the altruism he, so lovingly, showered on the Mann center – an ideal we forever seek to imbibe.
Originally a Commerce graduate, Dilshad was quick to switch into the Special Education field and went on to complete her Diploma, Bachelor’s and Masters level training in the subject. Dilshad’s passionate and nurturing personality essentially reflects in all that she does – be it teaching special adults, indulging in a session of arts and craft, raising her son or even heartily enjoying her meal! When this is coupled with her natural ability to take charge, Dilshad becomes the perfect candidate to head Mann’s Education and Training program whereby she constantly updates and monitors the syllabi prepared for the students while also making sure that the Wellness Center is always running smoothly.
Lovingly known as Geetu, this Arts graduate has a Diploma in Special Education along with a Certificate for specialized studies in Learning Disabilities and Autism. Despite the fact that Geetu is Mann’s official administrative head, her easy approachability and friendly nature has famously made her the go-to person at the center for almost anything under the sun.
Be it an achievement or a problem, Geetu would share them both with you…but only after completing her work first!
Beverly, who is recognized to be “the encyclopedia of Mann”, too, started off with a BA degree and then received her Diploma, Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Special Education. Her overflowing passion, meticulous nature and constantly agile body language all align with one another to make her the most efficient worker of the center and undoubtedly the ideal person to head Mann’s Communications. Her closeness with and deep knowledge of every single student at Mann drives her to secure the best for them through her management of the Employment Cell and through her effort in building Mann’s social presence in the world.
Hailing from a joint family of hoteliers, Gautam had his life all planned out – Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Commerce followed by dedicatedly putting all of his entrepreneurship skills to use in the hotel business. However, after just casually visiting one of the weekend hobby classes being held at the time for special adults by Dilshad, Geetu and Beverly, he fell in love and immediately signed up for a lifetime of supporting their cause.
As they came to forming “Mann” (as we know it), Gautam naturally took on the “most practical” role of managing the Finance, while earnestly performing any other task(s) he finds possible.
Mr. Lachmandas Ludhani
Mann’s first Mentor Trustee also happens to be Director of the prestigious company, Evershine Builders Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Ludhani is the one who breathed life into Mann, by allowing it to find a permanent home in The Wellness Center at Sita Sindhu Bhavan in Mumbai. Mann’s beloved “Nanaji”, as he is known, has been cherished ever since he stepped foot into the center not only for his generous physical contributions, but equally for his incomparably wise guidance and support. Known to be the “Man with the Midas Touch”, he cannot help but ensure perfection, beauty and service in all of his ventures alike.
Mrs. Vidhi Khubchandani
Being dedicated to social causes across the globe, she started her journey back in 2007 when she founded “YOU – Your Own Understanding”, an initiative based in Dubai with the simple idea of facilitating children and young adults’ understanding of their own selves in order to help them realize their personal goals and in turn to “pay it forward” to society. Mrs. Khubchandani, on coming across Mann, took no time to make it her own and ever since has become an “international face of Mann”, spreading awareness about it across Dubai and beyond. The best part is that her generous contributions to the center are inevitably laced with endless love!
Mr. Arvind B. Singh
Mr. Arvind B. Singh, a well-known Chartered Accountant of Arvind B. Singh and Company and a managing trustee at Gaondevi Temple Trust, has a serendipitous relationship with Mann. He was the one who placed the foundation stone for the Trust by registering Mann under the The Public Trust Act, followed by his role in providing us with the space for The Employment Cell at Gaondevi Temple, Santacruz
This literally facilitated the “initiative of Employing Adults with special needs ” to come alive into being perceptible. It is truly a task to fit a description of his vision, achievements and contributions to society in a concise space, which is why Mann remains ever humbled and honoured to be able to liberate special lives with the knowledge that it has Mr.Singh’s endless support.
Larissa D’souza has completed her Diploma and B.Ed. (Special Education). She has an experience in teaching for over 6 years as a Special Educator. She has worked for various schools in Goa with children aged between 12 to 15 years. Her duties involve planning lessons, reviewing, implementing new learning techniques and collaborating with parents, counsellors, therapists regarding child’s academic progress and behavior.
Supported Employment Trainer
Mansi Mehta has completed her B.A. in Home Science from S.V.T University followed by B.Ed. in Special Education (Intellectually Disabled) from The S.N.D.T Women’s University. After which she worked as a class teacher for 4.5 years with students aged between 6 – 12 years
Supported Employment Trainer
Suman Sharma has completed her Diploma in Special Education – Intellectual Disability. She has 9 years of teaching experience with students between the age group of 6 – 28 years. She has worked for various schools as a special educator, sports trainer as well as a classroom teacher in the vocational section.
Mainstream Employment Trainer
Snehal Bamane has completed his Diploma in Special Education – Intellectual Disability. He has 6 years of teaching experience with students between the age group of 8 years – 18 years. He has worked as an Academic and Vocational trainer, on one to one and group basis, respectively. His duties involved curriculum development and reviewing, implementing new learning techniques.
Mainstream Employment Trainer
Vinita Darira is a Commerce graduate and has completed her B.Ed in Special Education – Intellectual Disability, from SNDT College, Juhu. She has two years of teaching experience, as a Special Educator. She has worked for various schools in Mumbai with children aged between 5 to 18 years. Her duties involved planning lessons, organizing field trips/projects, and collaborating with parents, counselors and therapists regarding child’s academic progress and behaviour.
MANN WAS BORN!
The Wellness Center was inaugurated at Sita Sindhu Bhavan (Santacruz, Mumbai) and with that, Mann officially made its mark on the map. The Wellness Center was gifted to Mann by Mentor Trustee, Mr. Lachmandas Ludhani. Prior to this, Mann held classes and wellness sessions for special children and adults at different venues around the city as per availability of space and schedule. However in 2011, with 25 students (out of which half belonged to low income groups) Mann finally had a place to call home.
MISSION EMPLOYMENT ACCOMPLISHED
By the end of its first year, Mann was already showing signs of growth such as an addition of 10 new students in class with 60% of them coming from low income backgrounds. To top it all, however, the true sense of ’empowering’ and ‘making independent’ was realized by Mann, in a significant way, for the very first time when two of its students found employment, that too at Mann itself. Manjiri and Dilshad needed only a little over a year of training at the center in order to be seen as employment worthy by the teachers of Mann, as student aides. They continue to efficiently perform their duties which include setting up the class with activity-specific material, and assisting the other students in class, till today. Not to forget their beautiful smiles throughout.
MANN MADE BRAND
While Mann’s decorative products have always received much love, appreciation and encouragement, the end of 2013 saw these product sales receiving a pleasantly surprising and yet much welcome boost. This increase in demand, along with Mann’s improving ability to supply (quality) instigated the center to officially organize these beloved products into a separate brand of their own. And thus, “Mann Made” was born. The launch of this line did not bring about much of a change with regard to the type of products being made and sold and the manufacturing process followed for the same, but there has certainly been a newfound focus on standardization of look and on offering charming packaging.
THE EMPLOYMENT MADE CELL- MANN’S 2ND CENTER
Mann’s dream of having a second center was made into a reality by Mr. Arvind Singh and Gaondevi temple Trust. The Employment Cell, located at the Gaondevi Temple in the Santacruz East area of Mumbai, was inaugurated in January 2015. It marks a major leap forward in Mann’s journey of success but, more importantly, provides a dedicated avenue for our students to find employment and, in turn, to find a form of independence.
MANN KI PATANGE
“Mann Ki Patange” is a title that is doubly special to Mann. Firstly, it refers to the name of the song that was especially composed for the center by music director, Mr. Kashyap Sompura and sung by India’s legendary singer, Alka Yagnik. Luv and Megha Israni added the cherry on the cake by directing a beautiful music video for the song that truly enables it to spread awareness and celebration of the differently abled around the globe. Furthermore, the event that was held in Mumbai to officially launch this video song, too, was titled “Mann Ki Patange” and was graced by the likes of renowned Bollywood personalities such as Farah Khan, Shekhar Ravjiani and Jeetendra. A truly overwhelming evening it was, for Mann!