Last Friday we held a childrens’ fair in Beawar. Beawar is a small city about seventy kilometers south of here, and it’s where our second school, Sanjay Special School, is based.
The work we do with children suffering from learning disabilities and mental retardation is centered around rehabilitation through inclusion, the idea that these children should be allowed to play, work and study with their peers. Research shows that children living with disabilities learn faster when educated alongside other children, and it’s certainly true that they develop within social norms. Inclusion can be used as a tool for social change too. Children involved in inclusive education are more open to diversity, as are their families.
Beawar Bal Mela – the childrens’ fair – was an inclusive event. We sent over sixty of our children to the event and invited local schools. It was a phenomenal success, complete with puppet shows, pin the bindi on the woman (tail on the donkey), a lucky dip and dance contests, as well as marble and spoon (eggs are forbidden) races and musical chairs.
It was also another chance to bond with some of the younger teaching, hostel and office staff, who seem to form something of a boys’ club when they’re away from work. We had a Backstreet Boys singalong, it was golden.
Here are some pictures.