RASA – A School For Special Children, Chennai

This year too, the LEGEND’s Birthday was celebrated on 4th June 2007, through an Act of Charity. This was the first one after the formal launch of the “SPBFans Charitable Foundation” in January 2007. Mr.Ashok (Trustee) had initiated fund collection through the Group email which resulted in a total collection of Rs.60,000 inclusive of Rs.40,000 donated by our SPB himself. As many of you might be aware, our SPB had announced in the Fans Meet at Bangalore in Jan 2007 that he would be donating Rs.10,000 every month to the Foundation Account.

This time, an organisation by the name RASA, at Chennai was identified by our Webmaster. (please click on this link to know about RASA and its activities www.rasaindia.org). And as usual the core team of Ashok and Venkat had got into the act and worked overtime to discuss with this organisation and get all their requirements. Their requirements were Special chairs, Tape recorders, Assessment kits, Play pen with coloured balls, Basket swing, Rope ladder, Sensory integration board, Wheel Chairs, Different musical instruments

While the contributions generated could not meet this total requirement, it would cater to a part of it. Based on a discussion by WebMaster  & Ashok with our SPB, it was decided to present a cheque to RASA on June 4th, 2007 and at a later date meet all the Special Children (due to holidays children were not available on this day) and spend some time with them and also handover the items bought by RASA from our donation.

The following members assembled at RASA, Abhiramapuram, Chennai at 6:00pm on 4th June 2007.

Webmaster Mr.Giridhar Raja, Ashok (Trustee), Mrs.Ashok, Venkat, Vijaykrishnan, Madhumitha, Priya,  Prasanna, Seshadri, S Balaji, Ramachandran, his Sister Uma, Anand, Srinivasan & Dasaradhi

The Group was warmly received by Dr.Ambika & team. She gave them a brief summary of the organisation & its activities. RASA is a school for Special Children (Children with certain mental & physical disabilities). It uses Theatre, Drama, Music, Dance and other forms to develop Special Children unlike the traditional medical approach. Dr.Ambika is the founder and she along with other like minded persons are involved in this process of teaching Special Children to acquire various attributes and grow up in life. Around 100 children attend this school which is spread over three locations, one at Ahbiramapuram which caters to 35 children and the other centres at Mandaveli and Mehta Nagar-Nungambakkam taking care of 65 children. Dr.Ambika told the Group that by God’s grace they were able to pull along through the contributions of philanthropists like the SPBFans Charitable Foundation and she felt happy in being associated with the Group on this occasion. She invited the Group to come over one day and spend some time with the children and have a look at the activities so that one could understand what is going on. She also extended an advance invitation to the Group to a gathering of 250 Special Children that they are planning probably at Narada Gana Sabha, sometime in September 2007, which will showcase the performances of Special Children not only from RASA but also outside it.

After Dr.Ambika had completed her brief about the organisation, our WebMaster handed over a cheque for Rs.60,000 to her.

The Group left the place with the fulfillment of having done something good on SPB’s birthday on behalf of the SPBFans Charitable Foundation.

Further to the above visit, a team of Chennai Fans once again visited RASA on the “777” day (07/07/07) headed by the Webmaster. The purpose of this visit was to spend some time with the Special Children and also to handover the items bought from the donation, which could not be done during the earlier visit as the School was closed for holidays.

Members who visited this time around were Webmaster – Mr.Giridhar Raja, Ashok, Venkat, Madhumita, Vijayakrishnan, C Balaji, S Balaji, Anand, Sridhar & Dasaradhi

The Group was welcomed warmly by the RASA Administrators, Staff and Children. The RASA Special children sang a few songs for the Group combined with some dance under the lead of Dr.Ambika, the founder of RASA. It was heart moving & soul stirring to see her & her associates treat the children as their own by exhibiting motherliness in their actions and encouraging the children to come forward to introduce themselves to the Group and also prompting them to perform in front of the Group. The Group was also prompted by Dr.Ambika to join in with the Children to dance for a song.

RASA had purchased some musical instruments, Wheel Chairs & Exercise Aids. These were formally handed over by the Members to the RASA Administration.

(Special Courtesies: Venkat for arranging photographing of the event through Sridhar who captured the memorable moments professionally)