A group of children with hearing disabilities who can barely speak spent a day riding and feeding ponies on the race course.
The Children’s Day outing for 46 students last week was a break from the routine of classroom teaching.
The Oral School for Deaf Children approached Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) who opened their gates for the children.
Many of the children are from low-income families but their parents have put them in the school because they aspire to give them an English-medium education.
The group included children whose fathers are parking attendants, app cab drivers and food delivery agents. On November 14, the children rode the ponies, patted them and made friends, too, after the initial trepidation was gone.
The RCTC Riding School brought out their ponies.
“We usually arrange for a programme in school but since it gets monotonous we wanted to do something outside the premises. This was a different kind of fun and opportunity for our children,” said Karen Surtee, the office superviser.
The children hugged their teachers in joy.
“The children have difficulties in hearing and speaking but they communicate through their eyes. Their confidence and body language is superb and they are not bothered about their challenges,” said Shivaji Dutt, CEO, Royal Calcutta Turf Club.
The school established in 1964 follows an English medium curriculum for children from age four to 20.
The children appear for exams through the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
All the students have advanced hearing aids, said Bahadur Postwalla, an adviser to the school.
“Parents who cannot afford hearing aids for their children are given the devices at a subsidized rate. They come to us because despite their financial difficulties they are aspirational,” said Postwalla.