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Snehal Khatavkar
Design researcher. Design strategist

Finding first

Taking inclusion to the last mile 

As a part of the Jagriti yatra program I had the opportunity to participate in a enterprise building sprint . A competition for the participants to propose a business solution addressing the challenges of villages and towns in India under the guidance of mentors.

Recognizing the problem of inaccessible services for kids with intellectual disabilities and lack of support services for parents, an early identification system for kids with intellectual disabilities was designed to be delivered mainly  in rural India.   

Project type : Enterprise building 

Year: 2020

  • Better understanding & preparedness in family

  • Early intervention to monitor the child’s developmental path

  • Safer schools to send children

  • Equality – opportunities and acceptance

Social Impact

  • Reduction in behavioral problems

  • Improved academic potential 

Individual Impact

  • Creating authentic data that will help the govt. in formulating policies

Tangible  Impact

INTRODUCING -Finding First 

 Schools and homes being the places where kids spend most of the time, it is likely to spot the symptoms by parents and teachers. Post recognition assessing the degree of disability and guiding the parents towards crafting a potential road map for the child specific to their abilities is a key step which is the role of the  special educator.

Providing affordable special educator service is the challenge in rural areas. Recognizing the already established anganwadi school network, the service was designed to be implemented at the grassroot level through these school networks.

The anganwadi teacher is in close contact with the child. The proposed system helps the teacher in visually identifying unusual behavior and keeping a record of the observations.  Through simple visual observation and data entries the teacher can alert the special educator about any issues faced by the child who can then guide the parents and the child further.  

As a part of the Jagriti yatra program I had the opportunity to participate in a Enterprise Building Sprint . A competition for the participants to propose a business solution addressing the challenges of villages and towns in India under the guidance of mentors. 

Process: 7 Members of the cohort put forth 7 different concerns observed within the Indian fabric to brainstorm. A single idea was then selected for further presentation. The presented idea was put forth by me.  The cohort was a diverse group of people ranging from anthropologist, engineer to clinical psychologists and government rep.   

Role: Problem identification, system design, operations design 

Jagriti Yatra (social awakening)  is an initiative of Jagriti Sewa Sansthan, a
non-governmental organization that promotes entrepreneurship. Jagriti Yatra is a 15-day digital journey, journey across the length and breadth of India, to understand and build the India of smaller towns and villages through enterprise. 


In order to ensure business viability, scalability and sustainability of this solution, the cohort worked towards developing the business aspects of the project 

Lack of identification of intellectual & learning disabilities. 


Lack of awareness among society. Improper guidance and training for parents 

Lack of proper services and tools for mapping progress and assessment of children With disabilities in rural areas. 

Intellectual disability (ID) is characterized by significant impairment in cognitive and adaptive behavior. 

  • intellectual functioning (such as learning, problem solving, judgement)

  • adaptive functioning (activities of daily life such as communication and independent living) 

Intellectual disability is a lifelong condition. The intellectual and adaptive deficit begin early in the developmental period. And hence,  early and ongoing intervention may improve functioning and enable the person to thrive throughout their lifetime. 

The rural scenario in India presents many challenges for children with ID and their parents in getting continual support and guidance for the child to progress in life. 


The operation channels were developed for online and door to door to service provision. This intensive exercise was essential in working out the potential loopholes for the enterprise. 

  • Repository is a resource library of developing educational tools in collaboration with NGO's, Special schools 

  •  Technological solutions

  • Hiring and training of special educators​​

  • Special educator Works in tandem with anganwadi teachers and ASHA workers to  monitor children's development 

  • Prepare IEP ( individual educational plan)

  • Parent counselling and guidance to make a conducive environment within the family  

  • Anganwadi school: Anganwadi is a type of rural child care center in India,  Anganwadis are the focal point for implementation of all the health, nutrition and early learning initiatives under ICDS - Integrated Child Development Services

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