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Ensuring 'fair play' for all

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Photo credit deccan

INCLUSIVE SPACES One of the parks in Bengaluru designed with the help of Kilikili.

Positive stride Kilikili is an organisation that creates inclusive play spaces that are accessible to all children, regardless of their ability, finds out Rashmi Gopal Rao

Children playing with gay abandon in a public park amidst chatter, cheer and laughter. This is a familiar sight for most of us on a daily basis. But imagine the same scenario with differently-abled children. This, now, is a bit difficult to imagine, right? The main reason for this is that one rarely sees these children playing like and with other normal children. This simple yet oft ignored observation was the basis for the start of Kilikili foundation.

Started by three parents of children with special needs, Kilikili is a charitable trust whose sole objective is to facilitate the creation of inclusive play spaces that will be accessible to all children, irrespective of their ability. Their key vision is to ensure that the facilities of the existing play spaces integrate the needs of children with disabilities such that the same can be used by both special and normal children. The mission in doing so is to create an inclusive society that does not differentiate on the basis of ability and is built on a strong foundation of respect for all.

In order to fulfill its objectives, Kilikili partners with various groups and organisations that include local government municipalities, urban development authorities, corporate organisations, parent groups, resident welfare associations and schools catering to the needs of special children. "We work on one hand with groups who require these facilities and on the other, with the facilitators who are able to provide them," says Kavitha Krishnamoorthy, one of the founders of Kilikili. "The inputs and guidance received by us from Kilikili were invaluable for the development of our park in L B Shastri Nagar. Workshops were held and they also helped us liaise with the architects," says Kavita Ratna, director - advocacy, The Concerned for Working Children.

The key thrust of Kilikili is that special children should be able to play in parks and spaces where normal children play. "Unless unavoidable, we do not prefer creating separate areas within parks where special children are confined to. The idea is to make the existing space and equipment special child friendly so that all children play together enhancing the fun quotient while advocating a sense of equality amongst the kids," says Kavitha.

Kilikili has been instrumental in making the Coles Park (Frazer Town), Gayatri Devi Park (Rajajinagar) and M N Krishna Rao Park (Basavangudi) in Bengaluru disabled-friendly. They have also developed the Chili Pili at Gandhi Nagar Park in Mangaluru along with the Gandhinagar Park trust. Once the parks have been set up, Kilikili organises a number of events to enable various individuals and schools to use the facilities. Many a time, normal schools are also invited along with the ones with special children so that the children can bond together over play.

Functional equipment

Kilikili works on having interventions that are useful to all users of the park. For example, the use of ramps and railings provide support to not only children with disabilities but also the elderly, pregnant women and anyone else who needs extra support. Equipment like tubular slides that have curved sides and are covered work very well for special children while providing security for normal children who are scared to slide down. Another example is the inclusive sand pit that has a sand table integrated into the sand play area, so that child on a wheelchair can access the sand at an elevated level while playing with the other children who can sit on the floor.

Bucket swings are yet another example that ensure upper body support and better grip for children with developmental delays while providing the much needed safety for normal children as well. These are simple modifications to the basic equipment that can be easily replicated but yet go a long way in helping special children. "We bring our child regularly here. He not only is able to play freely but has a great time with other children," says Gopinath, father of a special needs child who visits the park in Basavanagudi.

There are also special equipments like tyre tunnels and tandem bricks that cater to the needs of children with developmental challenges like limited mobility. These aid in increasing mobility, right/left brain coordination and provide tactile stimulation on hands, knees and legs. "We have also attempted to create spaces that are designed to help children with autism, where the child can feel relaxed and calm down without feeling overwhelmed," adds Kavitha.

Ongoing endeavours

The efforts of the organisation have been well received and have served as an inspiration for many. Kilikili has managed to not only generate interest but has also witnessed an increased level of commitment by stakeholders to develop such spaces. "It is very heartening to note that while what we have been doing may not be very sophisticated or state of the art, it is very relevant in our cultural context and the times we live in. Our biggest achievement is the fact that Kilikili has inspired others to take on such initiatives on their own. For example, a therapy school in the vicinity of Gayatri Devi Park in Rajajinagar, who regularly uses the facilities, took on the onus of refurbishing the equipment. We have also seen a big increase in the number of government agencies who are approaching us for developing such facilities," says Kavitha.

In order to help more people, Kilikili has worked on developing a manual that serves as a ready reckoner and guide in developing these inclusive play spaces. After all, akin to their name and philosophy, every child is special in his or her own way and deserves a kilikili (a Kannada word that means warbling laughter of a child)! 


Kilikili's key vision is to ensure that the facilities of the existing play spaces integrate the needs of children with disabilities such that the same can be used by both special and normal children.
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posted Jun 13, 2017 by anonymous

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+1 vote

LOOKING AHEAD With schools about to reopen, parents are finding ways to prepare the children for the new academic year.

Schools in the city have started reopening and switching back from a vacation to a school routine can be quite stressful in a household. Many Bengalureans feel that it's best to avoid the 'first day of school' mayhem by helping your child practice their routine a few days in advance. It's important for children to get enough sleep so it's good to establish a reasonable bedtime so that they are well-rested and energetic for the next day at school.

Eating a healthy breakfast is crucial and this practice must also be inculcated in your tiny tots. Children are naturally more alert and do better in school if they eat a good breakfast everyday. Most parents think a glass of milk will suffice for the child until their break time.

However, Anuradha Praveen, a working mother with two young sons, says, "It is always better to make them eat a proper filling breakfast of cereals, fruits or even 'idlis' and 'dosas'. A quick sandwich is also ideal because it is nutritious and filling and can be eaten without any mess."

Remember, children will only learn the importance of what they are doing when they see how much importance you give to their tasks. So what better time to start training them than when the new academic year is about to begin!

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+1 vote


Image source: TOI

While the academic year for schools in the city has begun, three schools have come under the radar of the education department for various issues and have been slapped with criminal cases in the Kumaraswamy Police Station limits.

Firdose International School in Sarakki, IQRA Public School and Rani Mother Mary School in Illyas Nagar have slapped with an FIR by the Block Education Officer who made surprise visits to these schools recently. A senior official who is handling this case in the station said, "These schools violated many rules and regulations. All three were running without licences."

The police officer added, "The schools had permission to run batches from nursery to Standard 2, but they took in students till 4th standard without the education department's permission. These schools claim they had applied for permission and it was rejected by the department as they did not meet certain criteria required for admission."

Surprisingly, the education department which is busy hunting down schools that are violating its diktats is making sure the schools follow every single rule in their rule book.

"These schools have been booked under the Karnataka Education Act, 1983, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009 and IPC 418 and IPC 420. We have got this complaint from the BEO and we have issued a notice to the schools to come back with whatever documents they have, so we can compile a report and submit it to the education department," said the official. Since the schools have begun their classes across the city, a few are still rushing up with their admissions. The police officer said, "We have stopped all admissions for these schools this year and we are taking necessary steps to shift these students to other schools immediately."

Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, N Venkatesh, Block Education Officer, South division 1, said, "These schools did not have permission to run any kind of educational activity. They were cheating parents with their own pricing. They had sent a request earlier for legitimacy, and we had rejected it on grounds of our policies and rules. Still they continue to function. That is the reason we gave a complaint in the police station and asked the school to immediately shut down."

"In all this, students should not become victims. Hence, we have formed a committee to look into alternative measures. We are admitting these students to nearby schools and we have also informed the parents about this," he added.

These surprise visits in the city will continue for a few more days, he said.

List of violators

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Instruction released a list of 15 unauthorized schools in Bengaluru south zone-3. The list comprises Reliance Public School, Crystal School, Austin Town; MES English School, Jayanagar; St. John Art Foundation, HSR layout; All New Public School, Mangammana Palya; RZ School, Bande Palya; Green Tree School, Bande Palya; Blue Bell School, Roopena Argrahara; Master Kits School, Mangammana Palya and St. Saras School

By Kumaran P

+2 votes


photo credit -  pti file photo

All screening of films and television programmes involving children should also have a disclaimer specifying that all measures were taken to ensure that there has been no abuse, neglect or exploitation of child artistes during the entire process of the shooting

Shemin Joy, New Delhi, DH News Service,

A child artiste should not be made to work for more than five hours a day and not more than three hours without rest, latest government rules state.

The new amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Rules also make it mandatory for the producer of any audio-visual media production or commercial to obtain permission from the District Magistrate for involving a child in their programmes.

“No child shall be allowed to work for more than five hours in a day, and for not more than three hours without rest,” the new insertion in the rules on engaging child artistes said.

“No child shall be made to participate in any audio-visual and sports activity, including informal entertainment activity, against his will and consent,” it added.

All screening of films and television programmes involving children should also have a disclaimer specifying that all measures were taken to ensure that there has been no abuse, neglect or exploitation of child artistes during the entire process of the shooting.

Education facilities
The producers should also ensure appropriate facilities for education of the child so that there is no discontinuity in his/her learning at school. “No child shall be allowed to work consecutively for more than 27 days,” it said.

Another point in the rules is the depositing of at least 20% of the income earned by the child in a fixed deposit account in a nationalised bank in the name of the child which may be credited on attaining majority.

The shows on television include reality shows, quiz and talent shows. These rules also cover the participation of a child artiste as an anchor of a show or events.

The issue of presence of child artistes in reality shows and other programmes in entertainment industry had raised a furore earlier.

In March, a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour had expressed concern that child labour is rampant in households and entertainment industry. It had then asked the government to study the situation in these sectors and take remedial steps.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had earlier come out with guidelines to regulate child participation in TV serials, reality shows and advertisements.

+1 vote




Digital literacy, ethics for today’s teens

The worlwide net offers plethora of knowledge for

Media and Technology have become an integral part of our adolescents' lives. They provide incredible opportunities to communicate, create, gather information, entertain themselves and even build business. However, if digital media is not used judiciously, it can become a weapon that can destroy the teen's world. Hence digital literacy and ethics are extremely essential to keep them safe.

The worlwide net offers plethora of knowledge for children, but it's important to educate teens on cyber ethics, writes Dr Anuradha HS

What's digital literacy

Digital literacy is about having the skills to access, understand, question, critically analyze and evaluate online content. (Source: Digital ethics means not using technology to cheat.

Why is it important

Becoming digitally literate helps the teen to use the internet properly, developing a critical eye for accurate information and respect for other people's creative work. Most schools use technology effectively to educate students, administer tests, quizzes and give homework assignments. Educators can foster digital literacy skills among students in many ways. By using these skills, students can develop higher level of creative and critical thinking. The teachers become facilitators rather than sole experts. This also aids professional development of teachers. The teens become resilient and self-reliant, learn decision making and engage positively with technology. here is what a parent should teach their teens:

»Spot unreliable websites. Check the domain. Reliable ones are those that end as edu representing an educational institution, .gov represents a governmental organization. Those ending with .com are commercial sites, .org or .ngo represents non-governmental organization and needs to be verified.
»Evaluate author and content. Look if the author is listed and whether he/she is an expert
»Ensure that the content is current and accurate. See whether what has been expressed is a fact or an opinion.
»Follow the rules of digital ethics like avoiding use of pirated software, using content legally i.e. following copyright laws and also avoiding plagiarism.
»Teens need to understand the concept of digital cheating namely, texting answers, taking pictures of assignments and quizzes and copying and pasting other people's work.
A good digital citizen will keep in mind the following: (Source »Understand broader issues related to technology
»Understand rights and responsibilities
»Use technology in a positive and meaningful way
»Use technology to participate in educational, cultural and economic activities
»Promote civility and respect online
»Apply critical thinking skills while evaluating internet sources.

Teens are the digital citizens of tomorrow. Educators and parents have the responsibility of building the adolescent's character. This also holds well in the online world. Every teen need to follow the principle — treat others the way you yourself wish to be treated, whether you are offline or online.<!-- 257082 1 -->

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+1 vote

Bengaluru: Chief minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday launched a special admission drive under the Right to Education Act for dropouts and those who have passed class 5. The drive will continue till June 30. The education department will enroll under the student tracking system -it will keep tabs on students going to school through a unique ID given to them or Aaadhar number.

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