This report has been submitted by Young Jun Yoo, a Silver Award participant who shares his experience of working at Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a school for the differently abled. Narrating what he gained during the journey, he highlights how his perspective towards disability has changed.
Working for 6 months with the students of Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a charitable school for physically disabled children, as part of pursuing the Silver level of the Award Programme, provided me with the opportunity to serve the needy. That’s how my relationship with the students of MBCN commenced.
I distinctly remember the very first day I met the Vice-Principal, Mrs Sheeba, to whom I nervously explained my plans of conducting an interactive session with the students of MBCN. My first class, the students of which comprised those with hearing impairment, started just a week after meeting with Mrs Sheeba, for which I prepared a printout of different insects, such as butterflies and dragonflies. Initially, I faced difficulties in communication due to lack of knowledge of sign language. Thus, I used my body language to communicate with them. During the course of my interaction with the students, I learnt how a smile was the key to communicating with people. After the first interaction itself, the students started decorating the printouts on their own, displaying their fine talent in drawing and craft work. They broke down my prejudiced ideas about disability and I saw my perceptions changing.
Post the first class, I became more familiar with the students, which eventually led to a proper timetable being formulated for my interaction with them. Earlier, I took classes only with students who had a hearing disability, but from then onward, I could meet every student of MBCN. These students, though differently abled, were bright young people with warm hearts. From colouring an insect to making an animal bus, I prepared a number of innovative activities for the students. Only recently, I gifted them socks with character paintings, which they really admired. It feels great to have brought smiles to their innocent faces.
Concluding the Silver Award, I feel elated on becoming a better human being by interacting with the students of MBCN. This interaction not only brought about a change in my perception of disability but also in how I deal with and treat people with a disability now. It motivated me to be more responsible, engaging with the students to aid them in achieving something new and positive constantly. I plan to carry these sessions forward in the Gold Award level of the Programme with more ideas and a stronger relationship with the students. Click here for more pictures