Ekadaksha Learning Center for Children with special needs

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

ELC Annual day 2020-An innovative fashion show celebrating independence and individualityEkadaksha conducted it's Annual day on 29th February 2020 at Rasika Ranjani Sabha, Mylapore, Chennai. This was the first show in which children performed on stage for an audience. The theme of this event was Independence and Individualty - main aspects that Ekadaksha strives to work towards. The show intended to showcase that all our children can be independent and are unique in their own ways. It meant to spread awareness among all that we as a team can work towards the best needs for the children. 

Dr. R. Nataraj IPS DGP (Retd.), MLA Mylapore was the Chief Guest and presented awards to the children. In his speech he gave  information and details of various services provided for people with special needs in the city. He appreciated the efforts gone into the excellent conduct of a one of a kind Fashion show. He also added that it was a matter of pride for four women to come together and take on the task of teaching children with special needs. He also presented awards to people who have helped Ekadaksha in various ways.

Mr. T.N.Manoharan was the Guest of honour and presented awards to the teachers, staff and volunteers of Ekadaksha. His speech was a motivation and created a positive impact on all present for the programme. He recited a saying - "Birth and Death were not in our control, but Life's glory is in our control. " He mentioned that Ekadaksha is doing its best that this glory can be achieved by the children and their parents. He also believed that Ekadaksha is working to make wonders happen. 

Mr. Chandran, an important person to Ekadaksha, presented the 'Overall Excellence Award' to two of Ekadaksha's former students, V.Gautham and S.Saketh Raman. Both these students are now doing extremely well in their respective schools, academically and in co curricular activities. Mr. Chandran is a parent of Ekadaksha's cherished student, Tharun, who passed away on 16th January 2018. Mr. Chandran, as well as Gautham's father and Saketh's father appreciated the efforts of the Team and expressed their happiness. 

After welcoming all the guests, parents, families of the staff and the visitors of the day, a video about 'A day at Ekadaksha' was played which showed the routine of the day as well as all activities done at the Center. The video also showed how the children were doing all activities independently or with minimum help. This was followed by the Annual Report stating all workshops and services provided during the year 2019-2020 as well a gist of how Ekadaksha Learning Center has grown over ten years. 

The main event, the one that everyone was looking forward to - THE INNOVATIVE FASHION SHOW by the children to celebrate INDEPENDENCE AND INDIVIDUALITY. Ekadaksha works towards this vision - To spread awareness that people with special needs can be independent and they are unique individuals of their own accord. The children walked the ramp along with their teachers in attire designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Batch 2017-2021, Knitwear Design Department. The students not only designed the clothes to look smart but to also be functional. The term functional would refer to various aspects:

1. The children being able to wear them independently. 

2. Being simple and easy to wear. Eg: Using Velcro instead of buttons, pants which can be work either way etc.

3. Easy movement.

4.. Catering to their sensory needs or distractions. Eg: Soft materials, avoiding too many frills , front pockets with specific materials to keep their hands etc.

The students also provided us with music and ideas about formations in a fashion show. We thank them for making this dream of our come true - To see our children looking amazing and walking with the utmost confidence:-)

It was then time to give away the medals and awards to the children, teachers, volunteers and helpers. Ekadaksha also honoured people who have helped and supported Ekadaksha at all times: Mr. Karthik-available at any time to take care and maintain the Ekadaksha Building, Mr. Rajesh - Always ready to help with techincal computer issues, Mrs.Malvika - A wonderful graphic designer of all our newsletter and invites, Mrs. Rathna, the Master of Ceremony for the day. Ekadaksha also honoured Mr. Suresh, the Automan of some of our children and Mr. Balaji, a car driver of one of our staff who helps to take our children for outings, for their humble services. 

Mr. Hiten Joshi, Trustee, Ekadaksha Trust, spoke on behalf of the the other Trustees, Mr. Seshadri, Mr. Bharath Sharma and Mr. Rajeev Nair. This was followed by the wonderful speeches of our Chief guest and Guest of honour. 

The show came to an end with extreme positivity, happiness and an aura which captured the hearts of everyone. 

Click here to view pictures of this amazing event and enjoy. 

 

 

 

 

The Ekadaksha Exhibition 2020The Ekadaksha Exhibition was organised on 9th February 2020. Ms. Revathy Asha Kelunni - Actor, inaugurated the event. The event began with a welcome to all present. This was followed by an introduction of the children to Ms. Revathy. Rithanya presented her with a bouquet and  Raghul presented her with a memento. The other children shook hands and greeted her happily. The teachers and helpers were also introduced to Ms. Revathy. Ms. Revathy, spoke a few words and she mentioned that the 4 pillars in this field of Special Education are the organisation, the teachers, the helpers and the parents. This is what makes and develops the child. 

Around 350 people who visited the exhibition were very appreciative and encouraging of the hard work that was put in by the children and teachers. Products displyed included paintings, bracelets, decorative bottles, diyas, bags and a lot more.  All the products showcased  the learning, creativity, the confidence and the motivation of these Special children. 

Click here to see the products that were on display.

Click here for photos of the inauguration and the eventful day. 

 

 

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. 

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