Students with Amrita Vidyalayam schools are joining hands with children from schools for people with disabilities to support Mother Nature.
AIKYAM is an inclusiveness activity to reduce the divide between society’s definition of normal and disabled. As a project with the C20 Gender Equality and Disability (GED) working group, children from Amrita Vidyalayam schools are inviting children from schools for people with disabilities to make seed balls together. There are 55 Amrita Vidyalayams throughout India of which 28 are in Kerala, and the initiative began on March 1st – the International Day for Zero Discrimination.
Each Amrita Vidyalayam principal, along with a few teachers and students, first invite the principal and students from the schools of the disabled by visiting their campuses. When the guest children arrive for seed ball creation day, they are welcomed traditionally by putting a tilak on the forehead with arathi and are given a brooch that says: “You are the Light.”
To make the seed balls, five Amrita Vidyalayam students team with one guest student to form a group. Sitting in circles, they use mud, manure, seeds, cotton or cloth, and water to roll the balls and discuss where they will be planted in surrounding areas. The process also creates a connection for all the children with Mother Nature.
The experience is teaching participants to include everyone, no matter their abilities, and work as a team for a common cause. The guest students are made to feel not only welcome, but that they are also contributing to the C20 endeavour by helping in the sustenance of the environment.
Meanwhile, Amrita Vidyalayam students learn to invoke feelings of compassion, patience, care and inclusiveness. They understand that it is their duty to make efforts to see that all people, irrespective of their abilities, are able to contribute to society’s larger well-being.