Welcome to Hospitaller Order of St. John of God St. Thomas Province, India

Hospitaller Order of
St. John of God

 St. John of God Special School

A New Initiative

Five differently abled clients from our homes for the aged at Kattappana and Poonamallee were selected and a small centre was started in May 1998. Eventually more clients arrived and the need was felt for a bigger centre with modern facilities.

In the meantime Brothers and Co-workers from Ireland (in 1998) and Australia (in 2000) conducted seminars in India, in which issues relating to managing challenging behaviours were discussed and objectives, programmes and policies for the Velloor Centre were formulated.

The Goal

The goal of the Centre is the holistic development of the differently abled by promoting their well-being and rehabilitation, by creating awareness in society and families of their obligations to the differently abled, and by training the differently abled to live independently and assume their rightful place within their families and the society at large.

A Model Centre

With the assistance of the Bavarian Province of the Order, a model centre with the best practices for the differently abled was officially inaugurated on 1st November 2003.

New Facilities

The new facilities comprise a modern and well-equipped school, comfortable yet homely hostels for different age groups and sexes, staff canteen, chapel and residences for the communities of Brothers and Sisters.

The residential facility has a preferential option to support and train the neediest which include the orphaned, those with profound learning disabilities, those from impoverished families, those not able to have access to local facilities, and those whose needs cannot be met within their families. The centre also offers educational opportunities for day students, and provides transport support that enables the attendance of children from a wide geographical region. At present there are 80 residential students and 40 day-care students.

These facilities proclaim that the differently abled should be valued and respected in the best possible manner. The Centre seeks to be client-centred, to be an institute of excellence and aims to provide consultancy, support and in-service training for other institutions.

In order to pursue the best practice management and service delivery, the centre is organised along the following departmental lines:

Education and Training Services

The term ‘mental retardation’ is not well understood and misrepresents the abilities, hopes and aspirations of those whose intellectual abilities do not fall within the normal range. Whereas the term ‘differently abled’ highlights the right to individuality, integrity and dignity that is the right of each person. Children who are differently abled can, and do learn, striving for their own personal goals and interests that lead them into an adulthood that can be independent and contributing to the social good of the nation.

Education and training at the St. John of God Special School are organised according to the schemes and guidelines of the apex professional body for India, the National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped (NIMH). Students are admitted after thorough assessment of their intellectual capacity and their relevant personal and family background. All educational programmes aim at maximising the holistic potential of the individual person.

Students are also initiated into a variety of recreational activities. They have opportunities to develop their talents in many areas, including music, dance, handicrafts and cottage based industries. Sporting activities, participation in district, state and national competitions are encouraged. Organised after-school programmes are an important aspect of each student’s daily life and timetable.


The Brothers and the Sisters, together with the Co-workers, dedicate themselves to the promotion and development of the differently abled through positive engagement with them. This relationship enables us all to treat them as valued members of society.

This great endeavour receives much needed assistance and support from both the well- wishers and the local people. Let us hope that in the future we will be able to bring the differently abled into the mainstream of society by the joint efforts of special schools, families, societies, NGOs and like-minded organisations.

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