The students of Indian Public School had gone for a bath in the Cheejiv river…
Leena Dhankhar, Gurgaon: Differently abled children enthused by city resident Deepa Malik’s silver medal in the
recent Rio Paralympics would face hurdles at the first step itself as Gurgaon’s private and government schools lack the facilities to cater to such children.
Facilities for para-athletes and even regular sportspersons are almost non-existent in Gurgaon’s over 500 government schools. Ramesh Sharma, whose son goes to a government school in Chakkarpur, said even educational facilities are not up to the mark so expecting facilities for differently abled children is a far cry.
“My son has polio, but he wants to play cricket. He is talented like other children, but the school has no facilities. There are some places in Delhi for children like him, but I do not have the money,” said Sharma, a taxi driver.
However, even parents who may have the resources to send their differently abled children to private schools would face a lack of facilities. Although the city boasts of over 50 top private schools, barring a couple of them none of these schools are equipped to handle the sporting demands of special children.
Malik, who has visited a number of schools in Delhi-NCR, said facilities for para-athletes are non-existent in these schools. “We are going to bring awareness among school managements and parents so that para-athletes can get facilities for training,” she said.
However, private schools in Gurgaon said they focus more on sensitising teachers and students about issues involving diffrently abled children.
“We make sure our students visit special schools. We also call the children from these schools to perform in our school. Some of our students do summer ‘apprenticeship’ programs in schools for differently abled students,” said Rupa Chakravarty, Principal, Suncity World School.
Scottish High International School in Gurgaon is involved with the Special Olympics and encourages differently abled children to participate in sports and games.