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Little Radha

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Its Friday at last and little Radha’s gaze is glued to the street corner. Any minute now Shankaramma is going to turn the corner and head towards Radha’s home.  Little Radha sees Shankaramma walking towards her house. Holding on to the red Brick wall she steps towards the street and throws herself into the open arms of Shankaramma. Little Radha longingly waits every Wednesday and Friday for Shankaramma, her home school teacher, to teach her new skills to cope with the world.  Over the years she has learned basic skills like sitting, walking, eating, bathing, dressing, communication and has now progressed to reading, writing and using the mobile phone to play games on it. This is Little Radha’s favourite part. Sometimes Shankaramma takes her to the Anganwadi to meet and play with other children. This teaches little Radha to interact and socialize with her peers. Children like Little Radha need to be home schooled as their need requires them to learn basic skills before being introduced into the school system. As Children like Little Radha learn these skills at different paces the role of the home school teacher becomes a vital part of the child’s life. The home school teachers have to go through a special training program which equips them to better cater to children with special needs. Home schooling is a parallel education system that the government runs with the help of NGOs in an attempt to educate and integrate children with special needs into the mainstream education system. More than anything,  Shankaramma acts as a bridge that makes the world  more accessible to little Radha.

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