Dif­fer­ently abled stu­dents make their mark at bike expo

HT Ludhiana Live - - Front Page - Gauri Dug­gal ludlivedesk@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

LUD­HI­ANA: Amid the hi-tech bikes and fit­ness equip­ment on dis­play at the Bi­cy­cle Expo is a stall quite dif­fer­ent from oth­ers. The stall has been sell­ing nap­kins and tis­sues made by hand­i­capped stu­dents of a school run by an NGO.

Un­der the guid­ance of its di­rec­tor Sat­want Kaur, the stu­dents of Ek Jot Eklavya School are dis­play­ing their cre­ations at the expo.

“Our stu­dents have been set­ting up their stalls at the expo for the past two years,” Sat­want Kaur, di­rec­tor of Ek Jot Eklavya School, said. “This kind of ac­tiv­ity en­cour­ages stu­dents and boosts their morale and con­fi­dence. The ob­jec­tive is to pro­vide them em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

The school has about 40 phys­i­cally and men­tally chal­lenged stu­dents. “We pro­vide the stu­dents free ed­u­ca­tion,” Kaur said. “Their wel­fare ex­penses are man­aged by do­na­tions.”

Ran­jit, a visu­ally chal­lenged stu­dent, was man­ag­ing the stall and at­tend­ing to the vis­i­tors. “With the help of the NGO, stu­dents like me have be­come aware of the hap­pen­ings and cul­tures in the world,” he said. “Telling vis­i­tors about our NGO makes me happy and I do not feel I am less able than oth­ers.”

Ran­jit said he was ear­lier 40% blind, but with time his vi­sion had de­te­ri­o­rated. Point­ing to the nap­kins dis­played in the stall, he said: “These nap­kins have been made by phys­i­cally chal­lenged chil­dren who are not able to do their daily chores. Ev­ery­body should ap­pre­ci­ate their work.”

Harnoor, an­other stu­dent, said: “I was phys­i­cally chal­lenged from birth. Though my par­ents were not able to pro­vide for my needs be­cause of my hand­i­cap, the NGO has been help­ing me as well as oth­ers like me live healthy lives through do­na­tions made by so­cial ac­tivists.”

“Set­ting up this stall has given us the op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with peo­ple,” Chanti, a hand­i­capped stu­dent, said. “It has given us con­fi­dence and courage.”

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