Ode to the Indian Army: Armed with conviction, these disabled children from Pune soldier on through their performance
What was special about this event was that these were children of the Ab-Normal school for disabled celebrating seven years of their school’s foundation dayUpdated: Feb 14, 2020 16:15 IST
An inspiring performance was put up by about 50 children with songs, dance and performative sets at the Yashwantrao Chavan Hall, Kothrud on Wednesday evening in their tribute to the Indian Army.
What was special about this event was that these were children of the Ab-Normal school for disabled celebrating seven years of their school’s foundation day.
The school is home to children with various conditions including paraplegia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Down’s syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and other diseases affecting cognitive and physical skills.
In spite of these disabilities, the children put up spectacular synchronised tabla performances, malakhamb display, a djembe performance, a skit, and dance performances for their foundation day gathering.
The children were drawn to the theme after they were invited to visit the National War Memorial in July last year. Spending the day with army personnel, inspired the young minds to pay an ode to the Indian Army through their foundation day performances.
Rugved Lonkar, 21, a paraplegic student, was one among the 40-50 odd students, dressed in camouflage, who had managed to fill the air with excitement. He fumbled on stage and it played on his mind all the while he was being carried down the stage, onto his wheel chair. However, he soon got lost in replying to text messages, exchanging pleasantries and cheering for his friends who were on stage.
One among the children on stage was Chirag Chopra, 19, a former student of the school, who had participated in the Half Ironman triathlon in 2019. He came to the school with a learning disability. Chirag was congratulated along with three students who gained first class in Gandharv Vidyalay tabla exams and one student who scored a distinction in the same exam.
“If you get them computers and train them, I’m sure in the future, the army could find use of their talents,” said Brigadier Ajit Apte (retired), who was the chief guest at the function.
“They are not disabled children, they are specially abled, according to me. They do not behave as per our standards, that does not mean they are lacking. Their development in a manner conducive to them is important,” said Kishori Pathak, director of the school.
Colonel Anup Barbare, who was one of the many officers involved in the celebration spoke highly of the annual day celebrations held by the school year after year. He said he was among those who supported this event wholeheartedly over the previous years.
The school, founded by Pankaj Midbhakre, is located in Chaitanyanagar area of Kothrud and is a non-governmental organisation that runs on donations.