mid-day editorial: Don't shut the door on kids with special needs
A regular school day turned into a rude shock for 35 students with special needs after their parents arrived there on Tuesday to find the classrooms locked
A regular school day turned into a rude shock for 35 students with special needs after their parents arrived there on Tuesday to find the classrooms locked. Even the teachers were standing outside. A report in this paper said that the small centre for special children, which is within the premises of a larger school, had been shut to make way for an international school. Parents refused to leave, and protested on the premises, while classes were conducted in corridors for the special children.
There is a court case on. It is unfortunate that these special children suffered such a rude shock. While the school may be free to use its premises how it deems fit, it is unfair to seal the space all of a sudden. There should have been some humanity and compassion shown, especially since these were special children.
India has few avenues for challenged persons in every aspect of life. From schools to public infrastructure, the mentally and physically challenged are not really factored into the system. That is why it is so important that the little avenues they have are preserved for them. If we start closing the doors on them, putting commercial interests over our conscience, then words like inclusiveness will remain just that - feel-good phrases for lip service.
These special schools must ask for proper legal undertakings from the premises that they are run in, to prevent being shut down so abruptly. Now, one hopes that the Borivli school sees how difficult it is for special children to adjust elsewhere and gives them back the space, or at least helps to find another space for them. This city has belied its hard, commercial reputation so many times and shown that it has a heart in so many ways. This is an opportune time to show that quality.
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