Inclusion through Arts
Venue: Very Special Arts India, New Delhi
Date: December 3, 2012
December 3rd is observed world wide as the `International Day of People with Disabilities’.
To observe the occasion, SETU in association with `Eco-Friendly Papers’, Jaipur, organized a Workshop on craft learning at `Very Special Arts India’ (VSAI). As the name suggests, Eco-Friendly Papers create a complete range of beautiful, handmade, tree-free paper products.
VSAI is one of SETU’s partner artisans working with the disabled and underprivileged young population of India. They use art & craft for skill development of people with special needs and also help them in gaining financial independence.
The workshop was organized to meet the following objectives:
• To use art form as therapeutic tool against disability.
• To design activities which improve their motor skills, hand-eye coordination skills etc.
• Inclusion of people with disabilities in mainstream by increasing interaction & helping them come out of their shells.
• To foster confidence in the differently-abled.
• To offer assistance in skill enhancement of these ‘Very Special People’ so as to help in overcoming situational barriers.
The workshop involved physically/mentally challenged people with various disabilities aged between 13-25 years, to create a group landscape art project, as well as decorative reindeer paper bags. The participants were provided with all the raw materials, paper bags, pre cut outs of facial features & elements of landscape and design prototypes. These activities taught them that objects could be manipulated into different shapes and figures for the creation of something new. Similarly, creating a landscape by simply pasting the paper cut mountains, river, huts, sun, grass etc. helped improve their imagination & co-ordination skills
The activity was a good display of care and teamwork. Some children were more severely disabled than the others, they needed much assistance but that didn’t deter them from actively involving in the job. Other children and volunteers helped guide them in applying glue and guiding where to paste the objects. It was completely encouraging to see a group of mentally disabled children supporting one another, as well as seeing their full participation in the arts. The art these children made during the workshop conveyed a very special meaning to the aspects of life, laughter and perseverance.
People with special needs are no different in their ability to break expectations. “No mental or physical challenge need ever limit the human potential to create and excel.” And this was so much obvious from the creativity & synergy unleashed in the workshop.
Their happy & glowing faces provided us with enough incentive to plan more such workshops.