Ekadaksha Learning Center for Children with special needs

What we do - Ekadaksha Learning Center Chennai - By Stephen Eastop

Holi is the festival of colors,joy and happiness.It is annually celebrated in the month of March. After winter is gone,Spring commences. Fresh leaves and colorful flowers blossom and nature looks so bright and colorful. With bright color flowers blossoming everywhere it appears like Nature is also playing the festival of  holi along with humanity.

The celebration of Holi involves singing,dancing,spraying colors,playing with pichkari’s(Water gun) and enjoying sweet delicacies.

At Ekadaksha, Holi was celebrated by applying colors,singing and dancing around. Each class gave their dance performances  to Holi themed songs. Colorful dupattas were kept in trays which the children and teachers of that class chose and wrapped aroung their necks.

After each class finished their performances,the whole school as a big group did the final dance,shaking and waving the colorful dupattas.

Colors, art and music are opportunities to erase all stress and tensions in our lives.Celebrating Holi was really a refreshing and relaxing experience for the children and teachers at Ekadaksha.

May the festival of Holi make our lives colorful and fill our lives with brightness of hope and positivity. Happy Holi.

Click here to see the Holi fun. 

Excursion – A word every child yearns for. A day to unwind and a day to have fun with their peers. Excursion and fun outings are “must have” experiences in a child’s school life.They give the child evergreen memories to remember and cherish forever. Excursions are not only for fun but also for learning many things,to gain exposure to new places,learn to adapt and behave appropriately in public places. Ekadaksha organizes one excursion for their children every year to make sure the children with special needs don’t miss out these lovely moments they deserve. 

This year, Ekadaksha children and teachers had a soothing,relaxing and a magical experience.They visited “The Real Van Gogh Immersive Experience” at Express Avenue Mall. They were all set with full energy to get immersed into a new experience. Vincent Van Gogh was a famous 19th century Dutch painter whose paintings were characterised by bold and sumbolic colours and highly expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. In this Immersive experience, his paintings are showcased with a sunchronised play of visuals and sounds. It is an amalgamation of technology and his timeless artistry. 

The children got into the van happily and their joy was doubled as they were given their favorite yummy snacks and juice. Click here to see the van journey. After arriving at the spot, they learnt to wait till the tickets were scanned and everyone was allowed to go inside. They entered a new colorful and magical world. Bright sunflowers and paddy fields welcomed them. They sat here and relaxed a bit. Click here to see pictures with the bright sunflowers. 

Then they went into a room which displayed the paintings of the painter as well as his biography. Click here to see our own Van Gogh. 

The next room was fully lit with bright lights hanging from the roof. There was a mirror wall which showed funny reflections. Everyone lost themselves into the brightness of the lights.The children enjoyed seeing funny reflections on the mirror wall. Click here to see the room of lights and mirrors. 

Then came the highlight of the day – “The Van Gogh immersive experience”. As they entered the next room,the felt it magical. The children and teachers sat in a cozy corner and immersed themselves into the experience. Few children sat happily on the bean bags and others sat comfortably on the floor. Some of them moved around to touch and feel the moving pictures on the floor and walls too. The 3D projections and simulated effects on the walls and floors were like the paintings coming alive in front of our eyes. Waves moving, Boats and ships surfing over the waves, Flowers blossoming,Paddy fields and carts moving, Scene of a household, People having coffee and many many more colorful paintings were moving beautifully all over with mesmerizing and soothing music in the background. Click here to see pictures of this mesmerising experience. 

Apart from that, even though it was a but crowded, the children blended with the crowd. All children really enjoyed the experience and none of them wanted to get up and leave the place when the time was up. Every got back to school with happy hearts and magical smiles. 

Click here to see pictures of our immersive experience. 

ELC has complete 14 years this March. Going strong with a wonderful team, wonderful children and wonderful well wishers. 

This year, we cut a cake and sang the birthday song for ELC. After relaxing and enjoying the cake, the children assembled at the hall which was converted into a photo hall (similar to a photo booth:-)). Three walls were covered with different themes:

*The love theme with pretty hearts.

*The puppet theme with different puppets that we use for activities. 

*The Raja/Rani theme with a fully shiny decorated throne. 

The children and teachers could pose in which ever way they wanted, individually or in groups. After this, it was free dance time. Everyone enjoyed grooving to their favourite tunes. 

Click here to see pictures of the relaxed and fun celebration for ELC's 14th birthday. 

Ekadaksha Learning Center conducted its first Sports Day on 25th January 2024 at Whistle Urban Hub, Nungambakkam, Chennai.

Sports being an important aspect of life was given great importance this academic year. Sports benefits any individual in so many ways, more so our children with special needs. Through sport a number of skills are learnt and developed, some being fine motor skills, gross motor skills, listening skills, understanding rules, understanding techniques, strengthens the muscles, eye hand coordination, balance, waiting for turn, patience, social skills and builds confidence. Apart from developing skills in the child, sports can also teach parents a lot. It teaches parents to not rely on expectations, to be patient and tolerant, to be accepting, to get creative and most importantly have fun with their children. It can give a whole new perspective which one can take forward to live life to the fullest. Sports is also not about only winning or losing, it is about participating, having fun and learning. 

At ELC, Sports as a part of the curriculum included gross motor activities, simple exercises, drill time, track and field games, different sport. For Drill, the children learnt to do regular drill exercises done in schools, drills using pompoms and doing drill exercises in pairs. Track and field games were running race, sack race, lemon and spoon(modified to ladle and ball) race, transfering bean bags from one end to the other, obstacle course races, relay races etc. The various sports that they were exposed to were basketball, football, throwball, cricket and tennis. The children were given exposure to these games and sports so that friends and family can play with them and have some fun. 

The sports day activities began much earlier with Football, Basketball and Throwball tournaments being conducted at the center. The children and teachers have been divided into four houses - red, blue, green and yellow - at the beginning of the year. The tournaments involved the houses playing against eachother. Each of these sports were modified to make the children play as independently as they could. It is also developed in such a manner that the rules and conducting of the game becomes simple. To understand more about how these games were played, click the following links:

Football tournament

Basketball tournament

Throwball tournament

Before the sports day, the children practiced at the Center so that they would be prepared for the schedule of the day as well as understand and practice the track and field events. Click here to see the practice sessions.

Finally, the BIG DAY arrived - 'Ekadaksha's first sports day'. This event was supported by 'The KSN Sports Foundation'. We are grateful to them to make this dream of ours come true. On this day the children arrived by 9.00am and settled down on the field. They were prepared well and knew the venue since they were taken there earlier one time for practice. The venue, Whistle Urban Hub was an excellent choice. It was open air, closed space where the children could be safe as well as freely roam around with all facilities like toilet, water etc. available easily. Parents could sit comfortably outside the field to watch their children participate. 

For the event, the Chief Guest was Mr. Mohammed Riaz, who understands and is passionate about sports. He has been and still is an important figure in Hockey  being Member, Selection Committee, Hockey India. He is the former captain of the Indian hockey team. He has represented India at the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. He has also represented India at the Asian games in 1994 to win silver and in 1998 to become a gold medalist. In 1998, he won the Arjuna award for his outstanding achievements and in 1999 he wont he title for 'Best Sportsman of the year from the then Chief Mnister of TamilNadu. He was the coach of the Indian hockey team at the 2012 London Olympics. Recently, at the Khelo India youth games 2024 opening ceremony, he was one of the top athletes to be felicitated by the Honourable Prime Minister of India. 

INAUGURATION: The inauguration began with a welcome speech by Ms.Archana Joshi, Director ELC, who stressed on the importance of sports, introduced Mr. Riaz and welcomed the parents to this special occasion. This was followed by a speech by Mr. Hiten Joshi, Trustee of Ekadaksha Trust. Mr. Hiten Joshi CEO and chief coach of the TamilNadu Tennis Association, is passionate about sports and has great knowledge on the subject. He stressed on the importance of sport, playing and enjoying it. He appreciated Mr. Riaz as an individual as well as a sportsperson. He expressed his happiness to be part of Ekadaksha's first sports day. The next on the agenda was a few words by Mr. Riaz who also appreciated the efforts taken by the Ekadaksha Team and his elation to be part of this event. He then 'Declared the first sports meet of Ekadaksha open'.

Our children then performed a drill using pompoms. Ms.Komathi conducted the drill and Ms. Mari was the drummer. The other teachers helped the children by giving verbal or light physical prompts. The drill included exercises like lifting the hands up-down, side-down, front-down, stamping feet, ending with a hip hip hurray.

This was followed by the tournament awards. The Chief Guest presented each of the houses with medals and certificates. he shook hands of all the children and congratulated them. The Yellow house got the gold medal for the Football tournament, The green house got the gold medal for the basketball tournament, The red house got the gold medal while the yellow house got the silver for the throwball tournament. The inauguration ended with a group photo of all the children, teachers, volunteers, helpers with the Chief Guest, Mr. Mohammed Riaz.

SHORT BREAK: After the inauguration, there was a short break for snacks which was made by Disha's delight. The relaxation and yummy food made the children brisk for the events for the sports day.

TRACK AND FIELD EVENTS: This consisted of 7 individual events and 2 relay events. 

The individual events were as follows:

1. Running race - 7 children participated in this event. Once the whistle was blown, the children had to run to the finish line. The winners were Gold-Sahana Singaravelan, Silver-S.Raghav, Bronze-M.Harshini.

2. Bean bag transfer race - 7 children participated in this event. Once the whistle was blown, the children had to pick up a small bean bag from one end of the track and put it in a bowl at the other end. The winners were Gold-Syed Amaan Ahmed, Silver-V.Aravindh, Bronze-M.Deva

3. Ladle and ball race - 4 children, the girls, participated in this event. Once the whistle was blown, the children had to pick a ball using a ladle from one end of the track and put it in a bowl at the other end. There were a total of 3 balls for each child. The winners were Gold-M.Akshayashree, Silver-M.Harshini, Bronze-Sahana Singaravelan.

4. Sack race - 5 children participated in this event. The children readied themselves by standing inside a sack. Once the whistle was blown, the children had to walk as fast as possible holding the sack, to the finish line. The winners were Gold-C.Vidyut, Silver-V.Aravindh, Bronze-Syed Amaan Ahmed. 

5. Obstacle course race - 4 children participated in this event. Once the whistle was blown, the children had to cross over obstacles to get to the finish line. The obstacles were zigzag walk around cones, balance walk on bricks and lift the leg to cross hurdles. The winners were Gold-M.Deva, Silver-A.Sanjeev, Bronze-S.Raghav.

6. Shotput - 7 children participated in this event. Each child readied themselves by standing in a circle and holding a bean bag. Each child got one chance. Once the whistle was blown, the child had to throw the bean bag as far as he/she could. The winners were Gold-M.Akshayashree, Silver- M.Harshini, Bronze-A.Sanjeev.

7. Javelin throw- 7 children participated in this event. Each child readied themselves by standing in a circle and holding a pool noodle. Each child got one chance. Once the whistle was blown, the child had to throw the pool noodle as far as he/she could. The winners were Gold-V.Aravindh, Silver-Syed Amaan Ahmed, Bronze-Devank Chaudhuri. 

The relay events were as follows:

1. Beanbag baton relay - The children participated in their houses red, blue, green and yellow. The children were made to stand in a line leaving gaps in between. Once the whistle was blown, the first child had to pick up the bean bag from one end of the track. The child had to pass it on to the next child and so on, till the last child placed it in a bowl on the other end of the track. The house that finished first was declared the winner. The winner was the Green house (Syed Amaan Ahmed, J.Saikhiran and Sahana Singaravelan).

2. Beanbag side pass relay - The children participated in their houses red, blue, green and yellow. The children were made to sit in a line next to eachother. Three bean bags were placed on one end of the line and an empty bowl was placed on the other end. Once the whistle was blown, the first child had to pick a bean bag and pass it on, till the last child put it into the empty bowl. The house that passed all the bean bags first was declared the winner. The winner was the Blue house (A.K.Sanjuktha, M.Deva, B.Vishal and V.Aravindh)

After each event, the winners were announced and were made to stand on the winner podiums for the first, second and third place. They were presented with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as well as certificates. Each child was given a participation certificate too. It was an amazing achievement for each and every child to perform their respective events as independently as they could with the guidance of their teachers and the cheering of their parents. The children were happy and relaxed throughout the event. The smiles on their faces were worth more than a million. 

After the events, Ms. Bindu (Director-ELC) gave the thanking speech to show our gratitude to all involved who made this event a success. 

This was our wonderful day of exploring, expressing and experiencing sport. 

Click here to see photos of ELC'S first sports day 2023-2024.

Click here to see a lovely letter given to Ekadaksha by the parents after the sports day event. 



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