More power to the sixth sense

May 24, 2014, 10:20 IST | Soma Das

This weekend, the India First Foundation School (IFFS) in Karjat will kickstart an experimental study on Mid Brain Activation method to benefit visually impaired children

While summer camps are aplenty, the India First Foundation School (IFFS) is offering children a unique opportunity to develop themselves and get an ‘education beyond books’. Their latest initiative, titled World Without Blindness, is an endeavour to compile a study on Mid Brain Activation method as conducted on two visually impaired children; their food and stay will also be free of charge. It is also open for sighted children.

What is Mid Brain Activation?
Mid Brain Activation or smart mind activation is the activation of our sixth sense using various techniques which can help enhance learning. The concept has inspired the World Without Blindness project which aims to find out how Mid Brain Activation can aid learning among visually impaired children as well as sighted children.

The Mid Brain Activation sessions will include various games
The Mid Brain Activation sessions will include various games

Govind Bhanushali, founder-trustee, IFFS, says, “Experiments carried out globally on children who lost their vision after birth revealed that they were able to “read” the colour and the number of, at least, three playing cards. Next, they did rapid page-flipping and asked the child to guess the content of the book, which they could identify. The results prove that with more training and energy exercises, it’s possible to achieve higher levels of activation.”

The activities include flipping cards to be read
The activities include flipping cards to be read

The basic premise of the study is that if sighted children can be trained to read blindfolded, then the programme can be adapted for visually impaired children as well. This two-day residential workshop will be conducted by Yogesh Shetty, trainer, Mid Brain Activation at IFFS. Shetty has been conducting such sessions for the last two years with sighted children and has helped 150 such students through it.

Drawing, music and meditation are some of the activities explored
Drawing, music and meditation are some of the activities explored

Breaking visual barriers
Shetty claims that the programme will teach the technique to students through games, dance, music, meditation, relaxation, brain exercises and discussions. He adds, “The students need to practice it regularly for about 20 minutes. Post the workshop, children will have different degrees of improvement.”

The study explores Mid Brain Activat-ion’s benefits  for students
The study explores Mid Brain Activat-ion’s benefits  for students

Shetty boasts of a BSc (Physics), an MBA (Finance), a Bachelor in Alternative Medicines and also trained in psychology from Malaysia. He cites an example: Mumbai-based 11-year-old Aryan Shetty disliked Mathematics and never had any inclination for creative art. Post the session, he started taking guitar lessons and has developed a fondness for Mathematics.

Yogesh Shetty

”Mid Brain Activation helps to balance the capability of the left and right brain. The liking for music is a right brain function,” he shares, while adding that if the Mid Brain of every child is activated, it can help boost focus, memory, intuition, and lead to an improvement in extracurricular activities. “Moreover, for visually impaired children it is a boon if we are successful in achieving results,” he says.

Vision for all
The study aims to examine the benefit of Mid Brain Activation on students who are visually impaired not by birth but due to illness or accident. “Once equipped with the skill, they can lead their lives smoothly. We are also implementing the Mid Brain Programme from the next academic year at our school,” reveals Bhanushali. After this experimental activity with two students, IFFS aims to extend this activity to other centres catering to the education of visually impaired students.
Shetty admits that his passion for alternative systems of prevention and survival in the human body led him to gain insights which modern science cannot explain. “Such experiments have mostly been conducted globally, but not in India. We are attempting this in India for the first time, as a school initiative,” he states.

Who can sign up?
This session is open for 6 to 13-year-olds, since, as Shetty explains, “Children below six years may not understand the instructions while in children above 13 years, the brain has aged approximately 70%. Emptying the same is a tedious task. The mindset of seeing is believing is more prominent than believing is seeing.”

On: Today and 25, 9.30 am to 6 pm
Call: Chandan Bhanushali on 9619561212
Log on to:

Research trivia
The World Without Blindness workshop is based on The Shichida Method from Japan for Mid Brain Activation. The late educator DR Makoto Shichida devoted 40 years of his life to explore the capabilities of children and validated his research by setting up over 450 Shichida centres across Japan.

They approached the Blind School in Colombo. The group of boys and girls who took part in the sessions were below 14 years and had gone blind after birth. The results revealed that all 14 children were able to “read” the colour and the number of at least three playing cards. Two books were given to each child, and they could describe the book covers. There was rapid page flipping and the children were asked to guess the contents. The positive results proved that with more training, it was possible to achieve greater “activation”.

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