The Telegraph
Monday , November 24 , 2014

A special Children’s Day

It was a special day. The school wore a cheery look and the teachers as well as the children were dressed for the occasion.

The students of Alokdhara, an inclusive school in Kasba, were all set to ring in Children’s Day with song and dance. But what made this November 14 special was the arrival of a grand new swing and a synthesiser. Both the items have been gifted to Alokdhara by the Rotary Club of Calcutta Samaritans in association with Rotary Club of Calcutta Dhakuria, Rotary Club of Garden Reach, Rotary Club of Calcutta Metro South and Rotary Club of Calcutta-Elgin.

The swing was placed right in the middle of the activity room and the children were told to hop in whenever they wished. An inclusive school, Alokdhara was set up according to the Parent Circle Time Autism Identified (Pactai) guidelines. The school seeks to give equal opportunities to special and normal children, training them side by side.

“The children bond so well that it is difficult to say who needs special attention and who does not,” said Krishna Roy, the principal. The guests and representatives of the rotary clubs took a tour of Alokdhara’s new premises and checked out the various activities that the students are involved in. “We are so impressed that we plan to help them in various endeavours. We have entered into a tie-up for the next three years,” said Sraboni Mitra, a member of Rotary Club of Calcutta Samaritans.

Next, it was time for some entertainment. The kids and senior students danced to various numbers. The teachers also joined in. So did some of the Rotarians. The senior students presented a beautiful dupatta dance. “The students have been practising this for almost a year. Let’s see how much they have picked up,” said Roy before the performance. The cultural programme ended with a professional baul performance. “We are fighting towards an inclusive world and helping dreams come true. It’s good to see rotary clubs coming forward to help us,” said Roy.

Students as young as one and as old as 20 are part of the Alokdhara family. The three rooms at the new premises comprise the activity zone, feel-good zone, skill training centre and also the Miller Method room. The older students are trained in skills like bead-making and cookie making.