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Posted at: Jun 13, 2018, 1:12 AM; last updated: Jun 13, 2018, 1:12 AM (IST)

Special kids’ creativity gets a fillip at Pehal workshop

Special kids’ creativity gets a fillip at Pehal workshop
Differently-abled children during a dance performance at a theatre workshop in Amritsar on Tuesday. Photo: Sunil Kumar

Neha Saini

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 12

Grooving his heart out to a popular Bhojpuri song, Dimple, a special child at the Pehal Resource Centre is a sight of pure joy. She even pulls off some major dance moves. The 13-year-old, who suffers from intellectual disability, is a part of the inclusive theatre workshop at the centre, designed by Emmanual Singh, along with 33 other kids.

It is the first such workshop which brings together over 10 children suffering from various intellectual and physical disabilities along with other kids. “The aim is to expose the children to mutual exchange of creativity and skill development through theatre. This is the first time we have held a theatre specific workshop for our children with disabilities and given the response, it’s encouraging for them,” said Dharminder Gill, coordinator, Pehal Resource Centre.

Emmanual, a theatre artiste and director, who designed the workshop keeping in mind the inclusive nature, said the purpose of bringing together special children with others was to help them explore their potential. He said, “Most of the special kids are creatively very expressive, but hesitate to communicate with others. The workshop has speech and voice therapy based exercises which help them to voice their thoughts and interact freely with the normal kids.”

Kushal, another special student, is one such example. “He was a shy and an introvert child. But within a week of the workshop, he has learnt to deliver dialogues and also helps out with stage layout every day,” informs Emmanuel.

The idea, says Singh, is to make them learn by playing and just interacting with them. “They dance, work out, laugh and share jokes, hear and read poetry, while learning nuances of theatre and stage management. We have among other kids, 10 children from Jagdev Kalan village, who have got a chance to creatively experience things for the first time ever,” says Emmanuel.

The month-long workshop has four hours of theatre and communication session, designed to develop cognitive as well as creative behaviour among kids. The message, says Emmnuel, is clear at the workshop, “I let their creativity, innovation out, irrespective of their limitations.”

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