Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Giving a little space

9th Feb. To my post on "Beautiful Minds" where I mentioned about a programme by special children at the Music academy
22nd Feb. Correction: Programme held at Naradha Gana Sabha and not Music Academy.

It was about 6:30 PM by the time I raced into Narada Gana Sabha. Swabodhini’s banner greeted everyone at the entrance. Swabodhini, a charitable trust that runs a school for special children in Chennai celebrated its 16th annual day function today. I had listed it down as an agenda for the day, quite some days back. But I wasn’t really sure whether I would be able to manage it. But I am glad I managed to make it; it was a wonderful experience – two hours that saw many of my emotions being brought to the forefront, I laughed, I appreciated and I cried, all from the bottom of my heart.

I had never been to a function like this before. There were so many kids, all with different problems, of varying intensities. Their age would have roughly varied between 3 to 20 years. And all of them were there, with a unified purpose, to put in front of a fairly large and interested gathering, their best efforts to showcase what they were capable of.

The beauty of participating in the programme, lay in being able to discard the imperfection and non uniformity in the performance and enjoy the innocence and hard work of those really special children. Their casualness and absence of inhibition isn’t easy for any of us. They just didn’t mind, as dazzling flashes from couple of cameras lit up in front of them. They were themselves – a rare human quality.

There were dances, a beautifully re-enacted comical sequence of Kattabomman – Jackson durai, a skating performance, and the super hit fashion show. Some smartly dressed, some sweetly made up, they all walked up the ramp, posed and walked back, ignoring all their struggle to walk perfectly. I was stunned to hear a boy, (if I recollect the name right, Vishwanath) dressed in formals, state with perfect detail, what happened on a given day, as his teacher read out a date to him. A superb update of current affairs.

Behind all this, is the effort of the teachers in the school. Their patience and their noble heart deserves so much praise. That is an understatement! I only wish I could express it better. The teachers were there, all through the show, standing behind the children, telling them what to do. And no one minded - the mix up. The applause went to the children and to the teachers as well. They truly deserved it!

A powerpoint presentation on a day at Swabodhini totally shot in slow motion caught the children in their natural state of learning. With “Kurai Ondrum Illai” playing in the background and M.S’s voice singing, I couldn’t hold myself from shedding a tear or two. I was right there, sitting in the very first row, catching and video recording the precious moments on my digicam. As I sat there, one of the kids, came running from back stage, sat next to me, gave me a wide smile and ran back. I wondered why she did that, but I felt so innately happy at the recognition. It felt nice.

While some of the kids jumped and waved from the stage at the audience, there were kids who would just cry and struggle to walk, to talk, to do what they had to do. For all those moments, I really wished I could do something for them, I mean, whatever I could.

While, I came out I saw a contacts register lying at the reception, I just made an entry,
“Anupama Viswanathan
Asian College of Journalism
-Deeply Moved, Would really love to be of any help”, scribbled my contact number and walked back to the parking lot, hoping I could make a difference in some way. This blog is one such effort, to request empathy for such children and at some possible occasion, if you can really help them grow, I would deeply request that you did something.
I feel, we can, can’t we?


reNUka said...

A really nice post!!! Would certainly like to do something - preferably a full time support, say funding or adopting a child. i know tht it will need unceasing financial support and i am too naive for such things, now. anyway miles to go...

Sriram said...

thats a moving one....would be nice if you can post some of the snaps here.

Amrita said...

Dear Anu,
I agree a very well-written piece. Infact your emotion are very conspicuous in the article. well-done yaar. And yes do post a few snaps on your blog.

Anupama Viswanathan said...

yeah..i would love to put some snaps...but really caught up with work...shall do that asap..:)

saranyan said...

thanks to you, now I know about Swabodhini. they have a website too.

Chakra Sampath said...

very moving.