Meet A Child
Voices & Views

Economics Times 24.05.1998
TRY telling Ambika Kameshwar that her school for the disabled is unique in its style of functioning. The spirited lady retorts immediately. “When God created man He created only the ‘abled’ and the ‘differently’ abled. There are no ‘disabled’ in this world.” This woman’s unshakeable belief is the driving force behind the Chennai based non-governmental organization called RASA which works with children with developmental disorders.

Deccan Chronicle 26.09.2005
Ramana Sunritya Aalaya – is all about laughter, music, dance, drama, theatre and loads of fascinating stories for the 90-odd special students, who come all through the week to this day-care school. Learning is redefined here. Theatre is an extension of life and life is an extension of theatre for these special children, as Rasa use the versatile art form for holistic development (THD) of their mind and body.

The Hindu 07.03.2005
Ramana Sunriyta Aalaya Trust (RASA) believes conviction makes anything possible; and by staging "Jaya Jagata Janani", a dance drama by 200 special children, it has proved its belief right .The confident group that gathered on stage to sing and dance, in colourful, traditional clothes, struck the keynote for the rest to follow. This was no amateur performance, for dressed in appropriate costumes these seasoned actors did not miss a beat. Yes, this moment of glory belonged to them and the arc lights shone the brightest on their efforts.

The Week – 8 October 2006.
"Nava vidha Bhakthi", a dance drama recently organised by RASA , was testominy to the success of theatre as a developmental tool for differently abled children. Trained by the Trust, over 200 children danced with joyous abandon emoted characters like Prahalad and Mirabhai. Their sense of co ordination is amazing .

The Hindu Tuesday September 26th 2006
Over 200 children from various special schools in the city presented a dance drama titled ‘Nava Vida Bhakthi’The children’s stage presence and emotive portrayal of the characters had the audience responding to the performance spontaneously with thunderous rounds of applause and sometimes tears.

City Express - Monday March 13th 2006
It was a humbling experience to watch the one hour plus dance drama staged by children of Rasa. As the The 80 plus students of Rasa presented "Ramanaavataaram", a full length dance drama on the life of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi, with finesse and grace. It was a delightful moment as the artistes portrayed the birth of Ramana. Playing their parts without dialogues, each performer depicted the story with simple gestures and expressions which were a delight for the audience.

Deccan Chronicle – Sat 28th July 2007
Many differently abled chIldren have special latent talents. In an attempt to highlight such talents, RASA an organization that uses theatre for Holistic development of people with special needs has come up with an idea which could probably be the first in the world. . RASA has proposed to start a special theatre group called THE FOUR E’s (Explore, Experience, Express and Enjoy).


A real eye opener…..The workshop at RASA attended by 9 of us , though condensed in your view , was a real eye opener.. not merely to another part of the world unknown to us but to the joyous and selfless manner in which a philosophy is being determinedly practiced- the philosophy of there being no ‘disability’ but just the simple, rhythmic drama of life.

The holistic quality that embraces the Theatric Methodology of RASA is clearly aimed at developing completely , and maintaining in their fullest energy one ‘s mental and corporeal faculties at all times. The content, therefore of the Workshop was very evocative of this holistic approach. It had the right mix of Theory and Practice and the Faculty were extremely motivating. Obviously we want more and we sincerely wish we could come again… this time for a longer period of time”.
(Artists from Koothu-Pattrai say about the workshop conducted for them)

Rasa’s THD is a very innovative program which breaks down the monotony of the classroom education especially for special children. Our students have benefited a lot from the visiting teachers of RASA, who teach them various skills through dance, music, and drama. Our students enjoy the Annual Day program of RASA in which they also participate. My sincere thanks to RASA.
(Mrs. Nirmala Sujeevan, Principal ASHRAYA, The centre for special education, Unit of the Southern Railway Women’s headquarters organization)

RASA has been offering T.H.D. (Theatre for Holistic Development ) to children with special needs in Chennai. The students of Swabodhini have been receiving these services for the past 15 years.THD is a form of therapy which trains children with cognitive, intellectual and developmental disabilities, to discover the joy of their bodies. The primary aim of this therapy is to improve self esteem, self identity and body image.

The therapists initiate communication through gestures and movement patterns, to improve the communication skills of these special children. The child learns to identify self as part of a group thus enhancing social interaction skills.

Children with autism are specially benefited by this form of therapy as it enables them to be in touch with themselves.

The children always look forward to these movement therapy sessions, as their achievements are applauded and appreciated instantly and hence their motivation levels are high.
(Mrs. Radha Ganesan Trustee, Swabodhini Special School)

Theatre for Holistic Development , is tailored especially for children with special needs (in our case, for children with Down 's Syndrome ).

Children from our centre have benefitted from this therapy as it focuses on coordination, group participation and developing imaginary play. It is also an opportunity to participate in a structured interactive environment. In the past 10 years we have noticed that all the children await these classes and there has been a gradual increase in knowledge and skills. It has provided valuable sensory input and appropriate physical outlet.

Families have found the classes beneficial for their little ones. "Can we have more such classes ?" is the constant refrain from the parents.We at the Down 's Syndrome Associaion of Tamil Nadu (DSATN ).wish we had more such sessions. We thank Rasa for the valuable inputs.
(Down 's Syndrome Association of Tamilnadu)

  Parent Speak

My son K. Mukund was not in a position to talk, eat or do anything independently. He had no concentration at all. My wife and I had lost all hopes. This was my emotional state when I admitted my son K. Mukund in RASA in February 2000. To my surprise and joy Mukund had started showing tremendous improvement and today Mukund is able to eat independently , interact with others., take care of his daily needs. Mukund loves going to RASA. My gratitude to RASA.
(S. Krishnamurthy – Parent- father of K. Mukundhaprasad )

RASA brings “rasa”(flavour) into the lives of its SPECIAL CHILDREN. Never have I seen such dedication, commitment or “nishkaama preethi”(- selfless love). Nor have I ever experienced, earlier, such COSMIC LOVE that I do now, through my brother Arun, a very SPECIAL CHILD of RASA.
(Padmashri. Chitra Visweswaran –elder sibling of Special student Arun Padmanabhan)

Dancing for the mentally handicapped is not only an art that enhances physical coordination but it also builds up the child’s confidence…above all the chance to be with peers who function on a normal routine…my daughter has improved physically and mentally and she identifies herself as an individual with a great talent Rasa has redefined many special lives…..
(Rekha Ramachandran - mother of Babli Ramachandran)