After just 6 months of following a special curriculum, students from Taarana, a centre for children with special education needs set up by Vijayaratnam Foundation, put up a grand show for parents and guests at the Theatrette Auditorium of HELP University College.
The children, aged 6 to twelve impressed the audience with a total of 11 performances that included a fashion show, several dance numbers and a taekwondo performance. It was an achievement for most of them, as it was the first time they were coming before a large crowd to display their talents in singing, dancing and acting, more so with such courage and confidence.
Their ability to present a concert within such a short period of special education is largely due to the efforts of the dedicated and trained teachers at the school who are handpicked to help them face challenges in delayed development in academic, social and independent living skills.
Located in a bungalow in OUG, Taarana aims to help these children make a smooth transition into mainstream society and enable them to lead fulfilling lives. The concert is a culmination of the various activities carried out by the school to build the children’s confidence and help them integrate into the community.
Dato’ Vijay Eswaran, the Founder of Vijayaratnam Foundation said he was amazed by the progress made by these children within such a short time. “Some of them have leapt light years forward and it shows that we are doing something right.”
“When we started this school, we thought we were doing something good for the children. Now we realise that we are the ones who are richer for it, because these children have given us the gift of being able to care,” he said.
While addressing the audience, Chairperson of Vijayaratnam Foundation Datin Umayal Eswaran said that special needs education and equipment is expensive, and as such joint effort between the public and private sectors is needed to provide affordable education for children with special needs. She hopes that with increased awareness, the Foundation will receive more support in future.