Extra-curricular activities for the visually impaired can teach them to live life with confidence.
Are you a visually challenged student? Do you think that visually impaired children cannot be self-reliant and competent? “Change your mindset. One can do wonders with an extra effort and support. This is what I learnt at the Activity-based Vacation Camp for the Visually Handicapped,” said N. Ramamoorthy, a Std. X student of Hansrover Boys H.S. School in Perambalur. “For the first time in my life, I learnt the alphabet and how to use the pen,” he said.
M. Parthiban, a Std. XII student of American College H.S. School, Madurai, said he used to wonder about his vision loss till he came to the camp and learnt ways to overcome the disability.
K. Sruthi of OCPM Higher Secondary School, Madurai, said that she is now confident to lead life on her own. For visually impaired children, schools teach academic content, but don’t do much about extra-curricular activities, said Capt. C.V. Narayanan, Rehabilitation Consultant. He said that physically challenged students lack social skills and communication skills because of which they live in isolation.
To cater to the needs of students and expose them to various co-curricular and extracurricular activities, the All India Confederation of the Blind had organised the camp, in collaboration with a Holland-based service organisation, SKN, at Indian Association for the Blind at Sundararajanpatti near Madurai.
The camp would also introduce various activities and in the course of time hone individual skills, Narayanan said. He hoped that many blind schools would follow suit in helping such students.
The organisers of the camp plan to make it an annual affair in various parts of the district to reach out to more number of students.
At the camp, the students were divided into five groups named after Louis Braille, Helen Keller, John Milton, Homer and Veera Ragavar. Each group comprised six members from 15 schools.
The students participated in various activities such as orientation and mobility science, physical education, daily living skills and etiquette, scouting, signature writing, karate, dramatics, public speaking and yoga.
The camp also included field visits to banks, post offices, railway stations and a theme park near Madurai. As many as 30 students, including 15 girls from eight districts, participated.