Putting smiles on special faces

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Putting smiles on special faces

Published: Sat 14 May 2016, 7:25 AM

Last updated: Sat 14 May 2016, 2:00 PM

It's a fact: Life is full of challenges. But while most of us experience the ups and downs, others wake up with their challenges daily.
This was the message that BITS Pilani students had when they hosted Spectrum 2K16, an arts competition for the special needs.
The Social and Environment Club at the Indian Engineering College in Dubai recently welcomed 206 students from four Sharjah and Dubai centres.
Painting, singing and dancing competitions involved children from the Special Needs Foundation Development Centre (SNF); Manzil Special Needs Centre; Rashid Centre for the Disabled; and Senses Centre for Children With Special Needs.
"It is in giving that we receive. While we want the children to have a great time, they inspire us in return," said Prabhat Sharma, student and part of Spectrum's organising team.
"The peacefulness and confidence they carry despite their constant challenges is amazing. It leaves you grateful," he said.
It was the club's second event for the special needs. Last year, students ran a sports competition among children from different centres.
Dr Geetha, associate professor of chemistry and faculty in charge of the club, said the goal was to inspire and get inspired.
"Two years ago, we witnessed many of our students volunteering in centres. So we felt it will be better if we take the children out to a different place to view the other side of the world and get better interaction with others," said Geetha. "Our students are thrilled to be around them."
Special educator at SNF April Amador noted that the children's interaction with their typically developing peers gives them happiness and confidence.
"They feel more included into the community. It also drives them to be better since they take others as role models to imitate," said April. The club representatives stressed future plans of organising Spectrum annually.
sherouk@khaleejtimes.com
shihab@khaleejtimes.com

By Sherouk Zakaria

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