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Plenty of sunshine, warmth, joy and enthusiastic volunteers who bonded instantaneously as friends. Vibrant colors that washed way the dreary unease of the “pandemic restrictions” on gathering for an event on the street. Blending playfully and spontaneously beyond labels and masks as only children can do! and TEACH! No one would have been able to identify who exactly was “neurotypical” or “autistic” in this awesome mix! A family from Canada exploring schooling options for their children, eager to see them thrive in an unconditionally loving space in India. In short, each one of us organically coming together for ONE urgent need. Inclusive Education. For autistic children. Above all, The Wall. 🙂
It gained a character of its own with the passing hours! ( See the pictures below this article). Curious passers-by asking what the art meant. People waiting at the bus-stand taking in the splash of colors and smiling at the group of children. Yes, their smiles reaching their eyes and connecting. In spite of the masks on their faces. Makes one wonder if perfect “strangers” smile with ease and with abandon, now that they feel safe they will not be discovered or judged. Their identities hidden beneath the masks. 🙂 The camera persons from the media panning and zooming recording the flow of the fresh energies for posterity as the children allowed their hands to be painted and could not wait to imprint the same on the wall, enjoying every moment of their precious time “in the sun”, after a very long time! Almost two years! They came all dressed up in colorful clothes, ready to pose after a round of fresh ice-cream from the Aavin factory and parlour next door. Inclusion of the colors of the rainbow and more, to shine as the White Light that we all are. Validating the uniqueness of each on the Autism Spectrum so we could shine beyond labels and jargons. The puzzle pieces in the art coming together to awaken clarity about Autism. The event was a “success”. Why? Because it opened the minds of people and made a volunteer ask “Really, there is nothing “wrong” with them (autistic children)!
Credits: The GCC ( Greater Chennai Corporation) for supporting this idea of Autism Awareness through Wall Art. All the officials at all the levels of the state government working behind the scenes encouraged by the fresh energy of the children. Sholinganallur government school Principal. Artist Saktivel and team for the co-creation of this event making all of us a part of the art as the colors on our palms made us realize how an imprint of it on the wall could stand testimony for Unity amongst diversity. All the Volunterrs who took the time that sunny morning to reach the venue and join hands. Literally. For Autism Awareness and Inclusive Education. The Sun God and the Rain Gods who conspired to brighten that day in a magical way although heavy rains were predicted but poured only the very next day!
Media coverage of the Event
Snapshots from Event