“Bombe aata” is a familiar scene at public events in Mangalore. But seldom is their arrival and company enjoyed so much as it was on Sunday. Special children, who had come to attend “Vishistarigagi vishishta mela,” held on Sunday on the grounds of the Canara High School, Dongarakeri, crowded around the “bombe” as they arrived.
By afternoon, a group of at least 10 challenged persons was jiving away energetically, with broad smiles on their faces, to the music of the “bombe,” which danced, whistled and entertained them. Several of the special persons, mostly adults, were fascinated by the oversized “dolls” and they curiously touched them.
For many special people at the event, it appeared to be their “day out” as they excitedly ran from one stall to another, sampling snacks or trying a game.
Many were enjoying guzzling the soft drinks in the midday heat.
While Gagan sat on a camel for a joyride, Siddesh, a boy of about 10, was running excitedly all through the grounds with a bunch of coupons to spend.
He said: “I will play and go on the camel.” Most of the games attracted many people. The carousel and a “mini giant wheel” were continuously occupied. However, an inflatable “Mickey Mouse climber-slider” was unused for more than an hour.
It was only after volunteers came to help the special children that they came forward to try the game.
Saritha (name changed), a girl of about 6, sat quietly in her callipers watching everyone else play.
But an older girl with impaired hearing rushed to her and lifted her till the camel for a ride.
Shalini Bhat was felicitated and honoured for her talent in drawing and painting despite her challenges. Shalini painted landscapes, figures and “Ganapathi”.