Special kids enjoy the unique mela

Special kids enjoy the unique mela

Special children enjoy free rides in the traditional small wheel at the day-long ‘Vishishtarigagi Vishishta Mela’ organised on Canara High School grounds (main) in Dongerkeri, Mangaluru, on Sunday.

It was a world so different that it initially terrified Vinoda, a victim of endosulfan poisoning, from Koila in Puttur taluk.

Vinoda, who suffers from multiple disabilities, kept screaming loudly and though hungry refused to eat breakfast as her mother watched helplessly. As hours passed by, the wheelchair-bound Vinoda slowly came to terms with the laughter and squeals of excitement from hundreds of special children enjoying the free rides in traditional small wheel, merry-go-round and horse cart at the day-long ‘Vishishtarigagi Vishishta Mela’ organised at Canara High School Grounds (main) at Dongerkeri on Sunday.

The screaming reduced and Vinoda relished the ‘bajji’ (spicy snack), ‘bhelpuri’ and ‘Bombay Methai’ which the student-volunteers fetched for her from one among the 20 different stalls set up at the venue of Mela.

“Vinoda grew up confined within the four walls for years. She was enrolled in Koila Day Care Centre for endosulfan victims recently. She had never experienced a village fair-like atmosphere before,” Vinoda’s mother confessed as her eyes turned misty. Before curtains came down on the mela, Vinoda’s face like other special children at the venue radiated with happiness.

The mela organised by Asha Jyothi (a city-based forum of Divyang and their parents) and Seva Bharathi, like in past 21 years, drew an overwhelming response. Nearly 800 special children and their caretakers forgot their troubles and had fun to their hearts content.

As in previous melas, differently abled children, along with their siblings, made merry by eating, playing and even dancing to foot-tapping numbers.  As a novelty this time, special children and even grown-ups got their hands coloured with mehndi.

Earlier during the day, Jagadish Poojary who overcame disability to excel in body building championships and D S Nagarala serving as mobility instructor for past 16 years in District Diability Rehabilitation Cente (DDRC), Wenlock hospital, were felicitated by Corporation Bank, Head Office, General Manager Vijay Walia.

Mescom Executive Engineer Krishna Raj, Rotary Club Secretary R K Bhat, Asha Jyothi secretary V Muralidhar Naik and Seva Bharathi President Sumathi Shenoy were also present.