Heal­ing touch

RO­HINI FER­NAN­DES, 30, AND RAD­HIKA NAIR, 29, Own­ers, An­i­mal An­gels-foun­da­tion

India Today - - SIMPLY MUMBAI - Con­tact: www.an­i­malan­gels­foun­da­tion.com

Clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gists Ro­hini Fer­nan­des and Rad­hika Nair started their or­gan­i­sa­tion, An­i­mal An­gels Foun­da­tion in 2005, which uses An­i­mal As­sisted Ther­apy (AAT) to help over­come de­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­ders like Autism, Cere­bral Palsy, and Down Syn­drome. They prac­tice in var­i­ous schools, or­phan­ages and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tres across the coun­try. “It has been proven that when pa­tients are vis­ited by a ther­apy dog, they re­spond bet­ter as against those vis­ited by peo­ple,” ex­plains Fer­nan­des. Both the girls were cho­sen for the Paragon 100 Fel­low­ship (2009-2010) or­gan­ised by The Foun­da­tion for Youth So­cial En­trepreneur­ship (FYSE) and have been listed as one of the Top 25 in­no­va­tions in In­dia in 2008 by the Marico In­no­va­tion Foun­da­tion.

THE CHAL­LENGE When they started out, ATT was nearly un­heard of in In­dia. This meant they had to face a lot of ap­pre­hen­sion. “We had to re­ally prove our­selves be­fore peo­ple started tak­ing us se­ri­ously,” says Nair.

sec­ond opinion “Ro­hini and Rad­hika’s work is fan­tas­tic. It’s a mir­a­cle to see how

an autis­tic child in­stantly re­sponds to an an­i­mal.”

ENID D'SOUZA, RE­ME­DIAL TEACHER, ST XAVIER’S HIGH SCHOOL, BHANDUP

“Peo­ple are less ap­pre­hen­sive of our ther­apy as there is an an­i­mal in­volved” - Ro­hini

Ro­hini Fer­nan­des

(left) and Rad­hika Nair

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