Ekadaksha Learning Center for Children with special needs

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

Pongal celebration 2020 at Ekadaksha Learning Center, ChennaiThe first festival of the year - Pongal 'O' Pongal. It is the harvest festival in India and is celebrated over 4 fun days. The Center was decorated traditionally with Kolam, Maavilai Thoranam (Garland), Sugarcane and Pongal art. This year Pongal celebrations began with the lighting of the lamp by our helper Akkas. This was followed by decorating of the Pongal pot by our children with Haldi, kumkum and flowers. The overflow of boiled milk from the pot , an important ritual during te festival, was thematically represented by placing a ball of cotton over the pot. The Pongal dance was a super hit show. The children and teachers, all dressed up in traditional attire, danced around Master Abishek who was the drummer. The children did the steps that they learnt during dance time. They danced to a song that explained the sequence from sowing to harvesting crops. 

It was then time to play some traditional games. 'Rekla race' is a popular sport in villages where bullock carts race against one another at great speed. To represent this sport, our children played 'Pushing the tyre' with their friends and teachers cheering them on.  Another fun game 'Uriyadi' was also played. This game involves using a stick to smash a small earthen pot which is tied high up between two poles. The twist is that this has to be done with eyes tied with a blindfold. Not very easy right:-). 'Uriyadi' was customised for our children. Instead of an earthen pot, a bucket of flowers was tied to the poles. This gave a lovely shower of flowers when the children hit the bucket. It was so beautiful and appeared like a showering of blessings for Ekadaksha. The children enjoyed both the games with great interest, focus and fun. 

As always, Pongal is incomplete without a yummy snack of Sweet pongal and vadais. A thanksgiving festival for the year's harvest, Pongal indeed was a celebration with positivity and best wishes all around Ekadaksha.Congratulations to Ms. Akila and Ms. Sindhuja for putting up a wonderful show. 

Click here to enjoy the pictures of a Happy Pongal. 

Christmas celebrations 2019 at Ekadaksha Learning Center, ChennaiMary's boy child Jesus Christ was born on....CHRISTMAS DAY.....Ekadaksha was decorated festively and beautifully for Christmas with two lovely Christmas trees and a Manger depicting the birth of Lord Jesus. The weather this Christmas was a cool and relaxed one which made everyone get into the Christmas and holiday mood:-).

The teachers who planned this whole event - Komathi, Saraswathi and Poovarasi - did a great show of the story of the birth of Jesus. Children depicted the characters by dressing up and enacting. At first, the parents of Jesus introduced themselves followed by Baby Jesus blessing all of us. The Shepherds then entered along with their sheep to keep Jesus safe. The wise men made their presence gifting baby Jesus gifts of life. Christmas is all about angels and happiness. Sai Vaishnavi was the beautiful Angel dressed in white who blessed the children with love and joy. The children who were in the audience were also given a chance to give a surprise gift to Baby Jesus of an artwork done by them. When the angel arrived, children could interact with her through touch and happiness. Every child and teacher was given an opportunity to be part of this special programme. 

Christmas is always on until our Dear Darling Santa Claus pays a visit to dance and have fun with the children. This year's Santa was flanked by two of our little ones. Once Santa took the floor, there was no looking back. Most of the children wanted to dance with Santa or hold hands. It was indeed a joyful time with Santa's belly shaking laugh...Ho!Ho!Ho!..After this breath taking fun, snacks was served which was polished off by everyone. Christmas carols filled the Center with the love and delight. Click this link to see Ekadaksha's Happy Merry Christmas. 

When we think of Christmas we think - Christmas tree, decoration, Lord Jesus, Santa claus and of course....CAKE...The Experience (Pre vocational) group had a cupcake baking class with Miss Kavya Akka who loves baking. The whole process of baking was conducted from adding the ingredients, mixing to baking in the oven and decorating. These delicious cakes were served to the whole school and wow, it was a yummy treat for all of them. Click this link to see Ekadaksha's cake baking class. 

The Remedial children at Ekadaksha also had a celebration of Christmas. Decorating the tree is an activity all of them love to do and they do with great care as well. One more thing they love to do is posing for photos. So Santa Claus visited them, gave them yummy gifts to eat and then each of them got a chance to pose with Dear Santa right next to the Christmas tree. What a pleasure indeed. Christmas carols were played here too while the children bonded with eachother. There was a very touching moment during this point. A boy who got disturbed with music was crying a lot. All the other children surrounded him, pampered him and gave him all their love. This little boy then stopped crying and was happy to be there. It is these moments that we cherish forever. This is what Christmas is - Spreading love to all your loved ones. Click this link to see Ekadaksha's lovely Christmas. 

Celebrating children's day with Chacha Nehru and Mahakavi Bharathiyar, ELC 2019"Children see magic because they look for it."And indeed the world is magical and filled with beauty when seen through a child's innocent eye. The 14th of November is celebrated as Children's day in India as a remebrance of the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He was the first Prime minister of India and he loved children a lot. Therefore every school in in India celebrates this day to encourage each and every child to feel special. Childhood is an amazing phase of life, if shapes us into what we are today. So we indeed must celebrate this phase to make sure each child is understood and loved unconditionally. 

At Ekadaksha we had a special visit by 'Chacha Nehru' and 'Mahakari Bharathiyar', both who were fond of children very much. Tarak represented 'Chacha Nehru' and lived upto the role of spreading life among the children. Three of the children gave a small speech of two lines about Chacha Nehru and one of them presented his favourite flower-A rose. Other children sat around 'Chacha Nehru' spreading positive energy all over Ekadaksha.

Abishek aptly represented 'Mahakari Bharathiyar' the great poet with his moustache and majestic body language. The song 'Odi Vilayaadu pappa"is a song dedicated to children, especially the girl child. In this song he encourages children to lead a life with values and dignity. All the girl children performed a beautiful dance to this meaningful song. 

This day also was one to acknowledge and present special awards to children who have achieved something special this year. Some children were awarded for settling down in their classes well in a short span of time while others were given mention for their positive behaviours in class. Children were also awarded for their improvement in communication skills, academic skills and increase in independence levels. The awards were presented by their class teachers. We must remember that each child is Unique and Blessed with different talents, they just unwrap their packages at their on pace and time.

No celebration is complete without snacks. Yummy homemade snacks from The Bread Bar were served which was polished off by the children. The children then had their favourite activity - running and playing with their friends, dance and enjoying music. 

It was a wonderful day for the children and teachers. Hats off to the teacher, Sowmya and volunteer, Priya for planning a brilliant show. We take away a lesson this day - Love a child for what he/she is, Love them for how they love you, Love them unconditionally and they will grow into adults who spread love and joy everywhere they go forever and always.

From the child in US to the child in YOU...Happy Children's day!!! Enjoy the show here. 

Celebrating Diwali 2019 at Ekadaksha Learning Center, ChennaiDiwali is one of the most important celebrations in India. It is a festive time throughout the country with colours, lights, flowers and pretty decorations. This year the children displayed all the aspects of Diwali. Each class made different works of art and craft which they showed to everyone on the day of Diwali. 

'Colours' - Diwali is a splash of colours with people wearing vibrant dresses and people decorating their homes beautifully. 'Rangolis' and 'Kolams' are a common sight during Diwali. This creative art gives a warm welcome into each and every household. Diwali is the 'Festival of light' and our prevocational children made a lovely Diya stand to light up our lives. No festival is complete without some pretty flowers which were spread all around. 

The school readiness group also gave us a lesson on savingand protecting our environment. They advised everyone to save rain water, save trees, walk more to avoid pollution from vehicles, recycle waste and say 'NO' to crackers...

HAPPY DIWALI TO EVERYONE. May this Diwali bring the most amazing experiences in your lives. 

Our Diwali Dhamaka click here.

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