Vidya Sagar (formerly The Spastics Society of India, Chennai) is a non-profit organisation working for the past 25 years with children and young adults with neurological impairment.

They reach out to almost 3500 disabled people through their different projects. They believe in working towards an inclusive society. In particular, they campaign for children with disabilities to be educated in mainstream schools.

January 10 to 14 is celebrated as “Inclusion Week” to create awareness about including students with disabilities in mainstream schools and colleges. The Inclusion programme not only works on admission of students with disabilities into mainstream schools, but also follows up on the progress of each child.

My friend Shreya

I first saw Shreya when I joined Bambino in Class II. We were in two different sections. I did not get the opportunity to get to know her well.

Luckily, the next year, in Class III, we were together in the same section. I used to wonder how she would cope. Even though she needed help with writing, she was a thinker. She is good in Maths.

She takes part in the school annual day with the same excitement that everyone else does. Never has she let her difficulties come in the way. Never have I seen her express sadness. She is always cheerful and is as talkative as I am. She is also curious to know about something new.

We have been together now for the last three years. I enjoy every moment I spend with her. She has made me realise that nothing can stop us from achieving what we wish for. She is a great source of inspiration. I am very proud that I have her as my friend and she considers me as her friend too.

Sukrishna Sankar, IV, Bambino

My two friends

Two of my classmates are special students. I don’t want to mention their names. At first they joined the school I was not interested in being with them. After some days, I started to talk and play with them. Sometimes I also help them. And now, one year has passed and I am still their friend. Sometimes I feel sad in my heart, but mostly I am happy with my friends.

S.S. Abdul Basith, VII A, Unity Public School

My dear classmate

I have a classmate Dinesh who was not very independent but now he is does his work. When he is not able to do something he asks his friend and we help him out in writing his notes. Dinesh is very friendly most of the time, but he suddenly begins to hit us. But we have understood that he is just that way. We do not complain about it because one time some students complained and it caused problems for Dinesh. I told the Principal that we would take care of Dinesh and we will sort it out ourselves.

Rufus Chrisen Prabakar, IV, CSI Ewart MHSS

Wonderful role model

I have been Rohit's friend and classmate for two years. Over the years I should really thank Rohit for serving as a wonderful role model for me. The amount of dedication and perseverance he has motivates me to do better. My mother feels that I have become a more helpful and understanding person.

Rohit's mother often calls me to find our about the portions for the forthcoming exams and other events in school. Although she sometimes thinks she is troubling me, it has never been so. I have thoroughly enjoyed his company. He has a loving family and friends who are always there to support him. I am happy to be one among them.

Anvita, Lady Andal MHSS

He laughs and sings

Gopal is my good friend. I like Gopal because is always friendly with me. If I laugh, he also laughs. I play with him during PT class. He asks me to open his snack box. When he goes home I always say ‘bye'. When he is singing he laughs and sings. His songs are nice. Because of all this I like being his friend.

S. Rukmini Sindhuja, III C, Boaz Public School

Keywords: Vidya Sagar