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Three cheers

HEMA VIJAY
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CHATLINE They tread different paths but their goals are the same. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, HEMA VIJAY meets three women who work towards inclusion of those with special needs into the social mainstream

They create magic, each in their own inimitable way. A visionary educationist, Jaya Krishnaswamy unleashes the magic of early intervention in pre-empting and offsetting developmental delays and disability in children. The ever-animated Dr. Ambika Kameshwar ropes in the creative power of Indian theatre arts to teach challenged children life skills, vocational training, and find fulfilment and social acceptance. Meanwhile, Jayshree Raveendran has brought the dignity of employment to scores of challenged persons. 

Different are their roads, but they meet at the point of inclusion of challenged persons into mainstream society, as the ultimate goal. “If there is a barrier-free environment, social or environmental, there will be no despair attached to disability,” says Jaya Krishnaswamy. “If each of us perform our roles and make allowances for our co-actors (in the stage of life), inclusion will be a reality, because there is some kind of ability in everyone,” says Dr. Kameshwar. “If people refrain from noticing crutches, white canes or hearing aids the candidate may have come with, and just consider his qualifications for the job in question, inclusion will be a foregone matter,”  remarks Jayshree Raveendran.

In empowering thousands of others, these three amazing women give a new verve to the notion of women’s empowerment.

Continued on page 6

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