Dancing to Bollywood numbers, talking against corruption, raising
their voice for the girl child, around 30 children with special
needs wowed the audience at an event here. As one of them put it -
their 'I can' was better than the IQ of others!
"People call us special kids, but do we really need to be treated
like this?" asked Shreyan Verma, one of the students who
participated in the cultural programme Tuesday.
"We are not blessed with something extraordinary, so why such
"We are equal if not better or less than normal kids and this we
can proove with our will and passion. I would definitely want to
say that our 'I can' is better then your IQ. Treat us like normal
kids and we will touch the sky," he added.
Some had a speech disability, some a hearing impairment, and yet
others had physical disorders. But they delivered enthusiastically
While one girl danced to the film number "Mere dolna", a group
performance saw the kids dancing to the "Boogie woogie" song.
Others spoke confidently on issues like the fight against
corruption and the rights of the girl child.
The children were part of Sanchetna, a centre for students with
It is a joint endeavour between Billabong High International
School and Integrated Education Rehabilitation Sansthan (IERS),
that organised the cultural programme at the school venue here.
"These kids are far more confident and better than other normal
kids. They lack a platform where they are given training and this
is what we are trying to do. Billabong is the first school in
Delhi where these special kids are given academic training along
with normal kids under the same roof," said Joysree Mukherjee,
general secretary and one of the directors of Sanchetna.
Dimple Anil, principal of Billabong school, said they follow a
certain process before sending the children for regular schooling.
"We take students in Sanchetna first and and within three months,
after observing them, we shift them students to the normal
department. We integrate their faculties depending on language,
speech therapy, mind and body coordination. We do not take them
into academics immediately," said Anil.
To equip the children with technical skills, Sanchetna had invited
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to impart vocational
training to the children.
"India has shown drastic growth in the past few years and keeping
this in mind we have contacted the government in India to organise
such events," Yoko Nakabo, programme coordinator of JICA, an
independent governmental agency which assists in economic and
social growth in developing countries, told IANS.
"These cross-cultural activities not only make the bond strong
between India and Japan but also gives a platform to special kids
to get an exposure of the outside world and build confidence in
them," he added.
The event was graced by alumni of the Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Malti Goel, president of JICA Alumni
Association of India (JAAI), WHO feels despite the inclusive
policies of Indian education, many schools were not following it.
"The ministry of human resource development is in the process of
developing a Comprehensive Action Plan on Inclusion in Education
of Children and Youth with Disabilities," Goel said.
"There are many roles and responsibilities which come under this
category, including the participation of special schools and
special educators but there are many schools who are not taking it
seriously. With JICA showing their interest, I am sure this will
change in days to come," she added.