Loving Special Children

Loving Special Children

Last Friday, 200 special children from four special schools in Thane and their parents gathered at the open-air premises of the Jidd School at Siddhachal. The event was organised to mark two important days – the World Disabled Day and the World Mental Handicap Day, both of which fell in the first week of December. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Thane North End, the programme was the source of tremendous joy to the special children who laughed and clapped and some even jumped with ecstasy, never mind that some of them lacked even the basic limbs needed for the purpose.

It does not require too much to cheer them up, these children. The primary ingredient in the recipe for creating happy moments for special children is love. Mix a little love with anything, and offer it to them and then see the magic. Film Star Tanuja, who was the chief guest of the evening, tried this happiness recipe and was overwhelmed with the experience. Special guest Mayor Sharada Raut has been there, done that before and was there to experience the familiar feelings of awe that one feels when among these special kids.

The event was a part of "We Care" agenda of the Rotary Club of Thane North End, which plans to address important aspects of the lives of special children. Eight wheelchairs were donated by the club, which were presented by Tanuja and Raut. The participating schools were Holy Cross, St John the Baptist, Jidd School and Sri Ma Sneha Deep. The principals and teachers of these schools were thankful to the Rotary Club of Thane North End and especially to Shibaji Choudhary, who played an important role in organising the event.  

Commenting on the programme, Shyamshree Bhonsle, Principal of Jidd School said "Besides providing an opportunity to the special children to enjoy, such programmes go a long way in creating awareness among people about the challenges that such children and their parents feel. And awareness is really the need of the hour"

Manju Tejwani, Principal of Sri Ma Snehadeep, added, "It is rather unfortunate that few people understand the difficulties of special children. For instance, these children cannot access most public places like parks and other recreational areas because they are not designed to be disabled friendly. How do we help them socialise, which is important to their growth?"

Ishu Gulrajani, secretary of Jagruti Palak Santha, a Thane-based association of parents of special children gave an example of her own child Pratik who is also special. She said that when she confronted the children from the neighbourhood who would not interact with Pratik they said they were scared of him. Then she gently explained to them that he is harmless and is only looking to play with them – now they play with him. Once again, it was the issue of awareness among the rest of us about the "specialness" of these children. All they need is love from the rest of us.

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