of Rev. Fr. Thomas Felix CMI
A champion and man-extraordinaire for the cause of Mental Retardation in Humans. A religious priest, belonging to the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate monastic order, has dedicated his entire life for the mentally retarded. Pioneered the Three Cs educational approach as a practical tool leading to the arrest and immediate rehabilitation of the mentally retarded. Co-founded the International Institute on Mental Retardation in the USA. Founder-Director of the Central Institute on Mental Retardation in Kerala, and President of the All Kerala Association for the Mentally Retarded. Travelled extensively to over 33 countries of the world, initially to understand and assimilate the existing knowledge available on the topic and later to present own understanding, techniques, concepts, tools, in order to pass on to mankind the knowledge and wisdom acquired. An educator and visionary par-excellence.
Circumstances leading to this dedication:
Fr. Felix was deeply touched by the plight of a mentally challenged neighbour in his early childhood. The love and affection bestowed on this child by Fr. Felix's mother remains etched in his memory. Having a clear vision to become a religious priest he acquired the necessary qualifications and studies, and started working as a social worker among the poor. During the constant contacts with his work amongst the poor, he discovered to his horror that there were scores of humans who were in a more pitiable condition than economic poverty. These were humans with retardation of the mind and attendant disabilities. Such persons were either relegated to the darkest corners of the homes or generally mistreated and abandoned completely by the community. His adolescent ambitions and dreams, anchored around a passionate desire to redeem and rehabilitate fellow humans who were plagued with challenges of the mind, started to disturb him. He then decided immediately that his existence on this planet was to dedicate himself completely towards this cause. He acquired and assimilated deep and thorough knowledge about the problems and causes of Retardation of the Human Mind; visited various institutions who were dealing with human mental retardation in India and other parts of the world. During the course of his journeys it became evident to him that the conventional approach towards mental retardation was not only incorrect but was grossly misunderstood. He then set about to evolve an educational concept, now known as Three Cs; which was a radical stance and a watershed in human history. The success of the Three Cs approach and subsequent tool-cum-techniques in the treatment of mental retardation is astounding. Scores of mentally retarded persons have profited immensely by this approach.
Three Cs educational approach:
Extensive field work and research, combined with visionary insights into the workings of humans with mental retardation, resulted in Fr. Felix evolving the educational concept known as Three Cs. The Three Cs are: Comprehension, Competence and Creativity. Essentially, training under this system visibly enhances the functional level and natural skill of the child, equips the child with the ability to successfully perform a given physical assignment and, thereafter, with more training, to touch the higher level of creativity and achievement. Training, educating and rehabilitating the special child under Three Cs is found to be faster, firmer and cheaper, than under the conventional process. The Three Cs concept has received a high rating and approval at the hands of parents and professionals; and, has in fact, been successfully replicated elsewhere in India and abroad by academic bodies, university departments, professionals working in the field, with due assistance from him.
Founder-Director of Central Institute on Mental Retardation, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.
Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Elementary Education and Literacy Grants-in-aid Committee.
Executive member of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Karnataka State.