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Flow Fest 2020- An Educative, informative and Celebratory Event On Special Children

Monday, Mar 2020: “Special children and children with intellectual disability can achieve. The only disability is our attitude,“ shared Ms. S.K Rama, Founder, Flow Special School at the inaugural address of Flow Fest 2020, held to celebrate the achievements of students and create awareness and educate parents of specially abled children.

Flow Fest 2020, organised by Flow Special School located at Siddharth Village Campus, Hosur, focused on creating awareness on reducing the risk factors that contribute to the birth of a disabled child. The event held at Andhra Samiti, Hosur, was inaugurated by Dr. Viji Betrayaswamy, President of Special Parents Association and Director of Gunam Hospitals. The other guests included Clinical Psychologist Dr. Shobha Managoli, Karthikeyan, Governor, Rotary Club and John George, Siddharth Village Institutions.
The event witnessed performances by Kaushik Sreedharan, playback singer from the Tamil film industry and JP Kumar, mimicry artist from Vijay TV who enthralled the children, parents and the guests. Artists from various dance schools including the Sankitalaya Dance Academy also performed for the children. There were song and dance performances by Flow Special School children and awards given out to the ex-students by the Chief guests.
There was a visual art event for children of all ages, which focused on how other children can be sensitive to the needs of special children and was participated by two orphanages from Hosur. There were also discussions, talks and empathy games held as part of Flow Fest 2020. The idea was to increase participation of general public so that the message goes to the larger world and not only to the parents.
Flow Fest 2020 also had Entertainment and food Stalls that sold the school’s vocational products. There were homemade food stalls, Fun carnival games, Curated stalls at the Event.
Sharing her views at the event, Dr. Shobha Managoli, Clinical Psychologist said, “Awareness happens by sharing emotions and not just by spreading information. Flow Special School is doing just that by honouring special children and mother’s by providing a platform for the general public to understand, appreciate, accept and celebrate special children.”
Sharing her thoughts, Ramaa SK, Founder of Flow Special School said, “Flow Fest 2020, an awareness programme is a humble attempt by us to spread awareness about the following:
• Various factors which increase the risk of giving birth to special children,
• Red flags in developmental milestones
• Whom to approach for assessment and interventions
• Different conditions-Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome and so on
• To promote inclusion of special children and their parents in the community
• To showcase the potential and talent of the special children at Flow School

Speaking on the idea for conceptualising an event like Flow Fest, Ms. Rama S.K, Founder of FLOW shared, “the inspiration to conduct events occurred to the mother of two students (brothers) of our school who was expecting for the third time. She took the risk as she was egged on by her relatives to give birth to a ‘healthy’ child. Born out of consanguineous marriage (Marriage among close relatives), both the brothers are affected by cerebral palsy. Father is a cowherd. Parents were not aware of the interventions needed and available for helping the kids. After our awareness programme, they brought their kids to our school and they progressed gradually. We persuaded the mother to undergo prenatal mutation test. Unfortunately the fetus also had similar condition and she was advised to terminate the pregnancy. Many such painful incidents happens in Hosur and this prompted us to organise this awareness programme to educate people especially mothers, as awareness and access to information is the need of the hour.”
“We call it a fest because it is an occasion and space where we intend to celebrate special children,” said, the mother of one of the special child of the school who is fully involved in the event.
Further elaborating, Rama stated that a mother of one of our students avoids socializing and interacts only with the school parents group and us as she feels understood and accepted only by us. The feelings are similar for many parents. Even as we are working on their inner blocks, we have realised it is a two way process.
Flow Special School has a number of specially trained special educators and relevant therapists and counselors. Ms. Ramaya Rajeshkanna, – parent and special educator at Flow School shared, “Understanding and acceptance by the community makes a huge difference to the lives of special children and their parents. We counsel the mothers and train them as well as try to create this awareness amongst the community.”
Another parent of a child stated that the students who have graduated from Flow Special School are usefully engaged in different professions and that gives encouragement for many parents to go through this special process at their school.

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