Students and volunteers came together to create a world without barriers at the ‘Garden of Eden’ exhibition organised by the Special Children’s Educational Institute on Friday.
Paintings created by the institute’s 30 disabled artists had been put on display to celebrate the UN’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities.
“I am such a good artist,” exclaimed 28-year-old Asim Hussain, upon looking at his painting.
Another student at the school, Hussain, who also completed a six-month course at the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture recently, exclaimed, “the painting has leaves, water, petals”.
His mother explained that sometimes she couldn’t believe how good her son was with brush strokes. “I want him to develop his skills so that one day he becomes self-sufficient,” she said, with tears in her eyes.
A seven-year-old artist, Imaan, helped other students in sticking paper leaves together to create a collage on a big board. When asked to comment on her work, the shy girl nodded her head and said that she had fun while making it.
“We need to boost the confidence of these children,” said her mother, Rubina. “We think that they can’t do anything, but they seem to do more than that.”
According to the principal of the school, Saima Haq, the exhibition represented the combined efforts of the volunteers and students. “We want people to know that one doesn’t need a degree in special education to work with these children,” she explained.
Haq also showed a presentation of a project, ‘Cuddle’, in which students of Karachi American School had used special tools to show people what it was like to have a disability. Amaial Mullick, a 9th grade student of the Karachi American School, who had been volunteering at the event, said that she was surprised to see how talented they were. “Due to their disability, they took longer to finish. But they were really determined and wanted to finish,” she said.
Former cricketer Zaheer Abbas also attended the event and appreciated the efforts of the disabled children.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2012.