Nayika Sayal is a highly-trained special educator. Her latest endeavour, Niraya Education, aims to help those special needs kids whose education has been marred by the pandemic. Niraya Education also imparts vocational skills in special needs adults. We hosted Nayika for an interview as part of our special series, NewsX India A-List. Below are the excerpts from the interview:
For our first question, we asked Nayika about what inspired the idea behind Niraya Education. “Niraya started, just recently, during the pandemic when there was a transition between offline and online education,” said Nayika. She continued, “I felt that there is a need to bridge the gap in the special needs sector. And, of course, online education works in a lot of ways for many children, but for many children, it doesn’t.” She concluded the response by saying, “So, when it comes to this transition, that’s when Niraya actually happened.”
Telling us about her journey as an educator, Nayika told us, “I have been into education for eight years now, starting with my Montessori degree, which is general education. Special education attracted me after that.”
We then asked Nayika if she felt that the pandemic brought a positive impact by presenting a need for a noble venture like Niraya Education, to which she responded, “Yes, that’s absolutely right. The pandemic has been positive because this service for education was required, door-to-door, and that’s exactly what we do at Niraya Education. Apart from special needs children, we cater to general education as well.”
Telling us about how her venture empowers those with special needs, Nayika told us, “At Niraya, we provide education, door-to-door, for special needs children.” She added, “Apart from this, we are into employment, for special needs adults.” Nayika also informed us about Niraya’s efforts to encourage special needs children to take up sports. “We have also gotten into training special needs children for state and national sport,” she informed.
Nayika also told us about counselling services provided by Niraya. She told us, “At Niraya, apart from just counselling special needs’ parents, we have a unique programme which is child-centric.” She further said, “Children with ADHD, Autism, Downe Syndrome – they can come and talk to our experts and our team about their issues, and their perspective on life.”
“The idea is to train educators to train caregivers. Today, caregivers and educators need to, at least, be shown how to treat a child with special needs… At Niraya, we plan to bridge that gap,” said Nayika while explaining how Niraya is helping bridge the gap in the education of special needs children.
Speaking about imparting vocational skills to make special needs students self-reliant, Nayika informed us, “We have ongoing programmes for after-school activities. So, for children and adults who require vocational skills and vocational training, Niraya is going to offer that, as well.”
When asked about what sort of aid special needs schools expect from the government, she answered “We definitely need support from the government… Technology is something that we require in special needs schools, and many times, we don’t receive it because of the affordability”
Watch the full interview here: