Over a hundred children from four special schools in the city had their share of thrills with the screening of two animated films organised by the Lead India 2020 Foundation at PIX 5D Cinemas

They screamed and held each other’s hands as a roller coaster wound it’s way through mountains and deserts. They giggled nervously as they felt the tickle of mice nibbling at their feet. They looked worried as tables started shaking vigorously and cars began crashing on the roads, as the signs of an earthquake began to show.

They tried to touch and burst the bubbles which seemed to emerge from the screen. They ducked when it looked like water would splash on their faces. All this while remaining seated at a movie theatre!

For 142 children from four different speech and hearing impaired schools in the city who watched the special screening of two animated 10-minute films at the PIX 5D Cinemas at the Brookefields Mall, it was a thrill.

These films were screened as part of ‘Lead India 2020 Day,’ which celebrates the 82nd birthday of it’s chief mentor and former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on October 15.

Many of the students visited a theatre for the first time, and the smiles on their faces reflected the fun they had. “The roller coaster ride was a thrilling experience. It felt like I was sitting on a crazy roller coaster, and I even tried to evade the spiders which came up on the screen, scared they would bite me,” said V. Ramya, a class 10 student from Infant Jesus Convent Society for Education and Training Hearing Impaired in Periyanaickenpalayam, through an interpreter.

For the staff who accompanied the children, it was an equally useful experience.

“The films were not just fun for the children, but also gave them an idea of how an earthquake or tsunami develops, purely through visuals,” said C.K. Amritavalli, principal of Kasturba Gandhi Oral School for the Hearing Impaired in Varadarajapuram. For the organisers, it was an opportunity to give these children a glimpse of the world outside their classrooms. “Hearing impaired children are unable to watch movies with audio. These movies had more visuals and allowed them to feel bubbles, water from the river and the tremors of an earthquake, which they otherwise don’t experience. It was also an attempt to celebrate Dr. Abdul Kalam’s birthday in a unique manner,” said J. Sathish Kumar, state co-ordinator, Lead India 2020 Foundation. The movies were screened free of cost for the children followed by lunch at Vivanta by Taj-Surya.