Most of us when we look at others, we look at from negative point of view. Thus wedescribe him/ her form what he/ she cannot do and what he/ she can. More so most people whenthey look at others with a disability, they only see the negative aspect of it, of what they cannot do.Why is it so? As with anyone else we all have our strength and weakness. You have your strengthand you have your weakness. So also people with disability have their strength and theirweakness. IF God has created, then there is bundle of goodness in it.

To form a better world for all to live, weneed to stop looking at others from negativeperspective but need to look at from positiveperspective. We need to look at goodness and notweakness. We need to look at abilities and notdisability. We all are equal created by same Godand some way or the other we all contribute inbuilding a better world. The children/ peoplewith disabilities have lots of abilities in them. Thedisability is only the one aspect but there are lotsof abilities in them.

Snehalaya is an Institute for the Children with Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Disabilities. Cerebral Palsy is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination. It is caused by the damage to one or more specific area of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development, before, during or shortly following birth or during Infancy. So based on this definition the disability is mainly on their movement and their intellect based on how much their brain is damaged. They have also the ability to work, be productive, read and write, use computer, play games indoor and some outdoor games.

Snehalaya looks at the ability of the children and push them to excel and be independent. I like to mention some of the thing children do and they are good at it. Besides studies they play cricket, play chess, carom, snake and ladder, football. They are also good in singing, dancing, skit, drama, learn music, coloring and painting.

I interact maximum with the four children in Pre-School-III class. All of them have specific ability in them. Master Vinod is good in G.K., Math and Chess, Madhu is good in G.K and Coloring, Santosh is good in singing, coloring, storytelling and playing cricket and lastly Ganesh is good in chess, math and computer.

I cannot say that one is better than other. But I say that they have excelled in what they have learnt. The one example that I can give is the game of chess. They learnt and came to know aboutthis game last year from me. It all started one day in my class I just taught Akash to play chess. Seeing that many were inspired to play chess. Many of them learnt by observing and reading the leaflet that comes with the chess board, they too learnt from the teachers and playing in the computer. Master Vinod is not just learnt but he excelled what he learnt. Thus to encourage the children to play chess, we organized chess competition.

Last year we had around 10 players, mostly boys and two girls. But this year we had fifteen players for the chess competition. This year master Vinod won the champion of the chess competition. Let us hear Vinod of what he has to say about his new talents. “I learnt playing chess from Fr. Subodh, read the leaflet of the chess game. I played chess in the computer and played with my friend Ganesh during free time. During the holidays I played with my brother Vishal who was the champion last year. This year I defeated Vinayak in the first round, Ganesh in the second round, Kadlang in the semifinal and Vishal in the final. I felt very happy after winning the in the final.”

Yes, chess is nice to play and it is a mind game. We have to use our mind to play. It helps us to think from different angel. We encourage our children to play, not only chess but other games and other extracurricular activities of dance, singing and skit because it adds one more abilities in their lists. It is abilities matters and not disabilities.

by Fr. SubodhBarla

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