Sundays are busy for Kaushik, a Class IX student of Sivasami Kalalaya, Mylapore. Apart from keyboard classes in the morning and tuition in the evening, Kaushik adds one more activity by skipping his afternoon nap – spending time with special children. He started teaching keyboard lessons for those in Maitree and Aikya, learning centres for special children. Slowly, his friends Arun and Amrith followed, who teach craft and keyboard. Thanks to Vedika which involves children in social interaction.
Srikala Ganapathy, a teacher, started Vedika (To Empower), along with Deepa and Lalitha, to provide a platform for children to utilise their skills and energy in social activities.
At Aikya, each volunteer is assigned as a mentor to a special child. Ms. Srikala says that many children have signed up for volunteering services. “When it is taught by peers, they are more comfortable,” says Srikala, recollecting how Karthik, a student of Aikya, picked up eight notes in keyboard in a matter of time. Vedika also conducted art workshops on March 10 at Aikya. Niveditha, a Class III student and daughter of Srikala, was involved in the art workshop.
Kaushik says that teaching has honed his skills. “I go back to my master to learn the notes better so that I can teach them with perfection,” he says. Srikala plans to bring out an educational audio CD for visually challenged in partnership with the National Institute of Visually Impaired. She invites children volunteers to participate in the production.
Vedika also brings out an online newsletter, which has articles written by students from various schools. It also provides a platform to showcase other talents of children. For details, contact 98410 04588.