Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities program is more than an environmental message
On Saturday, World Environment Day, Ahzana Nazrin planted a young rambutan and sent pictures of it to her teachers. The day before class 3 student at SNV Upper Primary School, Kattuputhussery, Pallickal, Thiruvananthapuram District made seed bombs and really enjoyed it.
Ahzana, who suffers from hearing and visual impairments in addition to heart disease, made 18 seed bombs as part of World Environment Day celebrations hosted by Samagra Shiksha, the Kilimanoor Block Resource Center (BRC) of Kerala.
Ansi Farook, Ahzana’s mother, says her daughter loves plants and trees and understands the purpose of seed bombs and therefore was very keen on making them. The feedback from his teachers made his day.
Many children with different abilities find it difficult to sit still and focus on one thing, but when an activity like making seed bombs is involved, it is a whole other matter altogether. The end of the activity is also a boost to their confidence.
Nearly 720 disabled students, including visually impaired, from BRC Kilimanoor have been helping to make seed bombs since the beginning of the month with the support of a video prepared by a specialist educator.
The seeds are covered with a layer of compost and hidden inside small balls of earth and then dried. The idea is to get students to plant the bombs on the land surrounding their homes or scatter them in open spaces after the lockdown is complete, or to gift them to friends and neighbors as part of the celebrations of the World Environment Day.
A shower or two later, they will be able to see their love’s labor sprouting and taking root where it was sown, adding to the green cover. There are also other goals: increasing biodiversity, water and soil conservation, cleaner air, thus helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. The seeds can also be stored for a long time this way, germinating when given a little water.
Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities (IEDC) trainer Vysakh KS, who runs the seed bomb program with the help of 13 specialist educators, says it’s more than an environmental message to these students.
It helps in the development of fine motor skills, overcomes tactile defense, and improves hand-eye coordination and concentration in these children. As they see and learn about seeds and how they grow in trees and how to care for them, there is a natural increase in their environmental awareness. Each child was asked to make at least 10 seeds. Some even made 50, says Vysakh.
Ansi says the family is engaging Ahzana in various online activities designed by the BRC, as the lockdown has put a hiatus on meetings, classes, stage shows, therapy, and more. that were held regularly. âAt first we were very worried, especially since children may not be allowed to go outside during COVID-19, but there are a multitude of activities organized online for children by the BRC. ”