The sprawling pandal in front of the Sree Ramakrishna Mission Higher Secondary School at Meenchanda here turned a stage of creativity as hands of hundreds of differently abled students from across the State worked deftly to give shape to their ideas.
The event at the school was held as part of the ongoing State School Science Fair.
The participants, boys and girls, were either visually challenged or aurally so. But a walk around the expansive marquee, which was partitioned into sections to organise competitions in different categories, showed without a doubt that the physical shortcomings of the participants in no way interfered with their creative instincts.
They kept surprising their friends, teachers, and all those who gathered around the tent to study the way the differently abled participants worked to finish the task before them in stipulated time.
The day saw on-the-spot competitions held in a series of events including wood works, wood carvings, products from waste materials, bamboo products-making, net making, clay modelling and garment making.
The works displayed under the categories had a unique touch of class and professionalism about them.
The cane teapoy that Pasinal, an aurally challenged boy from St. Clare Oral Higher Secondary School for Deaf Manickamangalam, made for the bamboo and rattan works category was one such item. And so was the cane basket that Christo Joseph, of Higher secondary School for the Deaf, created.
E.J. Rose Mary, who arrived for the fair accompanying Christo from the same school, had a skill for incense stick making and judges, who arrived to assess her talent, found her brilliant in the craft. The crimson red traveller-bag Tesni Rocha, another aurally challenged contestant, made during the fair will easily pass for a factory-made carry bag, if one ignores the absence of any brand tag on it.
If the clay modelling contests was a sparkling display of creativity with contestant trying traditional and off-beat themes, the garment-making competition was an occasion to display the contestants’ penchant for novel patterns and designs on textile.
The still model of a three-metre tall rocket Nidhil Mohanan, engineered out of waste materials including thermocol, cardboard, cloth and papers, attracted many while the patterns made by students with throwaway items such as tiny sea shells, tamarind seeds and pista shells, evoked awe in many a visitor.
Participants in the special school section of the event were given entry to the State meet directly without a district-level competition in any of the events. “They are let in directly to the State meet,” said V. Sunoj, Special Officer for the special school section of the fair.
At least two students from as many as 45 special schools in the State are participating in each event of the fair. “These young talents always deserve greater appreciation since their challenge is always bigger than ‘normal’ artists,” said Mr. Sunoj.