In this special episode dedicated to Ganesh Chaturthi, Priya Rao, Director of Spastics Society of Karnataka’s Center for Developmental Disabilities, speaks with RJ Manjula.
This organisation was started in 1982 to provide rehabilitation services to children with developmental disabilities. Children with cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual challenges and learning disabilities come to the center for respite. “Clay is the main medium used for teaching our children hand function activities and motor skills. The hands and fingers develop while playing so it is kind of therapy to work with clay.”
Gowramma is the parent of a kid who used to come to the center. After witnessing the organisation’s work and the team’s dedication, she wished to join as an employee. She did so after completing her training. “It is great being with the kids as you see them every day and I work well with them because I am a parent as well. The children don’t like touching a few things, so we encourage them to touch the same thing every day to build familiarity.”
Ganesha idol-making activities are conducted among children in the 5 to 6 years range; the children first prepare the idols using ball and coil. Children of ages 8 to 18 go for clay workshops on their own. During these sessions, children are taught about the festival, the qualities projected on Lord Ganesha, and the culture behind celebrating the day.