National Museum holds workshop for disabled kids

August 4th, 2011 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) A troupe of mentally challenged children Thursday presented a recital of songs and classical Indian dances at the National Museum here at a special workshop for disabled children.

The workshop, which opened Thursday, will try to encourage challenged children to overcome their disabilities and tap the healing power of Indian performing arts to integrate with the social mainstream, said priest Thomas Felix, the founder of Thiruvananthapuram-based Central Institute on Mental Retardation (CIMR), whose students performed here.

The performance was so compelling that a couple of dancers were instantly offered a chance to join a team of Indian performers going to China soon by the director-general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Suresh K. Goel, who attended the inaugural ceremony.

The workshop, organised by the National Museum and a host of NGOs like CIMR and Cheshire Home, is an attempt by the museum to reach out to children as part of its outreach programme.

Around 200 differently-abled children from the national capital and Kerala are taking part in the workshop.

“Less ability among children does not mean that they are lesser human beings. They are as good as normal performers. From riding horses to playing the violin, singing, classical dancing and handicrafts, they are no longer differently-abled, but specially-abled,” Thomas said.

The workshop will help children develop their “motor skills, psycho, social, language and cognitive functions”.

The National Museum has been trying to take culture and heritage out of the confines of institutional space and bring it to the people with several initiatives for the last one year.

Early this year, it set up its first People’s Museum in Kerala and hopes to install at least 1,000 micro-level museums in schools and colleges across the country by 2012 to promote cultural awareness, cutting through all social segments.

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