Sharan Kaur, 34 watched with pride as her youngest brother Basanth Rajdeep Singh, 17, painted on a canvas, as part of World Down Syndrome Day celebrations at the Taarana school for children with special needs. She was heartened to see her brother’s progress since he joined Taarana.
“He is always very polite, holds the door open for others, and says thank you to those who help him. If someone burps after eating a meal, he would remind the person to say ‘excuse me’,” Sharan Kaur says.
Sharan is thankful to Taarana for inculcating a positive attitude and good manners in her brother.
“He came to Taarana when he was 12 years old. After all these years, I can tell you that he now teaches all of us at home. We learn a lot from him especially about sanitation and handwashing, as he always reminds us to wash our hands well, since the outbreak of COVID-19,” she said.
As part of the celebration, Basanth also danced to three Bollywood songs.
“He loves to dance! Sometimes he can dance for more than an hour, take a quick break and then continue dancing again,” Sharan added.
Apart from Basanth’s performance, Taarana also held a fashion show, and organised games and painting activities to celebrate this year’s World Down Syndrome Day.
S. Kamini, who is an assistant teacher at Taarana and is herself an adult with Down Syndrome, spoke at the event and shared some of her experiences.
“I was born a special child. My parents brought me up with lots of love and guidance. I am thankful for what my parents have done for me. They have played a big role in my life. They encouraged me so that I can have a bright future.
“Today I am happy and proud that I am able to work at Taarana. I feel that by working here, I am able to help these children. When I was a small kid myself, I experienced many challenged. It was not easy. It took me years to overcome the issues I faced. That’s how I understand special children and their needs,” she said.
Kamini believes that Taarana has given her a chance to improve herself further and hopes to be able to help parents who have children with special needs.
Taarana, established by RYTHM Foundation is the brainchild of Datin Sri Umayal Eswaran, who is also the Chairperson of the Foundation.