03 Jan Nakshatra with a difference for the specially-abled
One of its kind initiatives, Nakshatra is Bhumi’s annual inter-shelter home art, cultural, and sports talent fest for children to exhibit their talents and explore the potential in an atmosphere of healthy competition.
Bhumi’s Bengaluru team decided to take the concept of Nakshatra a notch up by making it inclusive and organising Nakshatra Specials, a day of fun and talent for specially-abled children. Their own special Nakshatra!
We asked Dhruv Patel, Bengaluru’s Chapter coordinator to share with us a few insights about this newly launched initiative.
Why Nakshatra Specials?
Often children with special abilities get little or limited opportunity to interact and reveal their talents to the world. Nakshatra Specials provides a platform for them to shine.
How is Nakshatra Specials different?
Nakshatra Specials is not a competition, it is a celebration involving these special children. Here every child is a winner!
What event were there in Nakshatra Specials?
Nakshatra Specials had four broad categories of events – arts, cultural, literature, and games. Volunteers dressed up as clowns and comic characters stole hearts and kept the excitement going!
What preparations did you do to make this a successful event?
Nakshatra Specials needed a lot of additional preparation as compared to a regular Nakshatra. We organised four pre-Nakshatra events at schools/homes where more than 70% of the volunteers were trained on how to work with differently-abled children. Volunteers were given a basic working knowledge of sign language to prepare them for the D-Day.
What was the volunteer to child ratio in this event?
Each child who came with his /her special ability deserves special care & attention. Hence we ensured that no volunteer was assigned more than two children. They acted as buddies and took care of our special cherubs throughout the day.
Any extra precautions that you took?
We made sure we had all the essentials in place:
- The venue was wheelchair accessible with ramps and everything was organized on the ground floor.
- The food was simple and served to each child by the volunteers. We ensured second helpings were also served with equal love and care eliminating the self-service options that we have in other Nakshatras
- A medical practitioner was present at the venue all along
- All information regarding the type of disability and special medication + timings were noted in advance.
What motivated the team to organize Nakshatra Specials?
The motivation for Nakshatra Specials came from the Care for Disabled project in Bangalore. When I spoke to the management of these centers they were disappointed by the lack of exposure and opportunities for their children. We knew that all these children were a storehouse of talent, then why not! We wanted them to feel special and appreciated and I am happy that we did exactly that!
Swarika Jain, one of the corporate volunteers who were a part of this event could not contain her happiness when asked to share her experience. Fondly recounting all her memories, she remarked – “Kudos to everyone who put the event together! We were amazed to see the dedication and sincerity of the Bhumi volunteers towards the specially-abled kids. We feel proud to be a part of such a great initiative. Despite being the first Nakshatra Specials, it was well managed and it was evident by the smiling faces of the kids that they enjoyed participating in all the activities.”
We are extremely proud of this unique initiative taken by Team Bengaluru and hope to see this a regular feature in our Nakshatras across India.
Bhumi is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. Bhumi, as a platform, enables over 20,000 volunteers across 10 cities in India for causes like education, environment, animals and community welfare. Sign up to donate blood and spread awareness: www.bhumi.ngo/volunteer