Sunipa Roy, 63

Photo: Uttarayan


By Nishita Jha

Sunipa Roy, a psychiatrist and chronic patient of bronchial asthma, was no stranger to anxiety. But what concerned her even more than her inability to catch her breath at times was the acute helplessness and anxiety faced by her autistic patients and their parents who were totally at sea while dealing with the disability. In 1986, Roy started the Uttarayan Day Care Centre in Kolkata for differently abled children with three students. Ten years later, she set up the Uttarayan Residential Centre in Arambagh in Hooghly district. Currently, there are 50 children in the day care centre, now located in Salt Lake, and 22 in the residential centre. Located 90 km from Kolkata, the residential school is home to children as young as 30 months who suffer from autism, Down’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, epilepsy, drug resistance, etc. They are taught reading, writing, theatre and functional academics once their learning curve slows down. “I became interested in these children when I was studying psychiatry,” recalls Roy. “Since the role of medicine is limited, I always wanted to do something that could help them and their parents live with dignity.”

Roy may be reached at +91 98300 38783


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