Ekadaksha Learning Center for Children with special needs

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

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.

Navratri celebrations 2019 at Ekadaksha Learning Center, ChennaiEkadaksha's festivities are in full swing this year. As we all know, in India, once festivities begin, it never stops. It's one festival after the other giving everyone opportunities to be creative, get dressed up and develop a bond of togetherness. 

Navratri at Ekadaksha indeed felt like a family function, wherein all the teachers and children got together to prepare for performances with a lot of creativity and enthusiasm. Nithya (A main teacher) and Ganga (A volunteer) got together to plan this whole event. They planned, coordinated and executed this amazing programme beautifully. As mentioned earlier and in the words of Ganga, "It was nothing less than a Family function". This is what we strive for - For all our staff and children to be one big family, for this community to be one big family - to unite and bring about a sea of change for those with special needs. 

This year, every house group was given a theme which projected the significance of the festival of Navratri. The nine days of the festival involves the worshipping of the various Goddesses while the tenth day is dedicated to appreciating our Gurus. In this years peformances, while teachers narrated, each child was given a role based on their strengths and capabiliites. By doing so, we could see them perform independently and with great motivation. So let us take a look at the performances of each house. 

The red house represented Goddess Durga and told the story of how She saved people from the evil asura (demon). Goddess Durga battled with the asura for nine days and finally on the tenth day, she got rid of him completely. This day is celebrated as Dussehra. Click here to see the performance of the red house - The story of Goddess Durga. Apart from our performance, if you would like to know the entire story, you can click this youtube link for your information. 

The yellow house gave the significance of Goddess Lakshmi who represents Happiness, Wealth and Knowledge. One of the children was Goddess Lakshmi while the others showed pictures of her traits. Click here to see the perfomance of the yellow house - Representations of Goddess Lakshmi. To know a little more about Goddess Lakshmi click this link

The blue house gave a performance based on Goddess Saraswathi, the Goddess of education and knowledge,to show all the art forms in India. This included forms of traditional crafts, sports as well as professions. There is a famous Tamil saying 'Aaya Kalaigal 64' which means that differnet forms of art exist and its is Goddess Saraswathi who blesses people with unique talents. Click here to see the performance of the blue house - The different Art forms. Art forms in India are extremely wide spread. While we have adopted many modern methods, the traditional arts and methods in various professions continue to be a part of our heritage and existence. A quick link to the the significance of Goddess Saraswathi during Navratri is right here

The green house showed us the importance of Our Gurus - Our Teachers who have given us the knowledge to become what we are today. They have provided us with guidance to be victorious in our lives. This victory is celebrated during vijayadasmi. On this day we pray to all those who improved our knowledge and make sure we begin our wonderful journeys in different professions. The children showcased teachers in different fields who are honoured by their students. Click here to see the performance of the green house - The importance of our Gurus. 

The children of Ekadaksha learnt all about Navratri pujas and blessings through their wonderful performances. What the children gained was indeed what Navratri is all about:

*Victory and confidence to use their strengths

*Happiness to be appreciated 

*Education about the festival and how to be a part of a huge function

*Respecting themselves and their Gurus.

The day concluded with a thanking note and an invocation to all our Gurus. A few more pictures which cannot be missed - Click here. Thus, with the blessings of Goddess Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswathi and that of our Gurus as well, one can lead their lives in the right path, gaining victory and winning over all evils. 

Onam celebrations 2019 at Ekadaksha Learning Center, ChennaiOnam, the festival of Kerala (India), with flower decorations, boat races and Onam sadhya (An elaborate spread of the cuisine of Kerala) was celebrated at Ekadaksha. It was a fun time where the children competed in two different games:

-Tug of war (A game of power): Two groups of children were made to face eachother and hold a long cloth. A line was drawn in the center as the boundary. When the command was given and the whistle was blown, they had to pull with all their might. The team that pulled the other over the boundary was the winner. This game made us all laugh like crazy. Some children pulled and pulled while others allowed themselves to be pulled. Some just held on, while others let go of the cloth. They had one thing in common though - Excitement:-)

-The Poo kolam race (A race of flowers): This relay race again involved to teams who had to pick flowers and make a flower decoration while taking turns with their team members. The children were fascinated with the flowers and enjoyed arranging the design. Well, some of them loved plucking at the petals as well:-)..

A delicacy of Kerala, banana chips, was served to one and all. Click here to see the children in action.


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