On the occasion of International Deaf Awareness Week from 20 to 26 Sep, VAANI’s Northeast office organised a Family Day on 25 Sep in the Assam State Zoo for the families of deaf children in Guwahati and the partner organisation Swabalambi. With the permission of the Zoo authorities, an area within the Zoo premises which was adorned with huge shady trees was decorated with the orange and purple balloons resembling the VAANI colors. VAANI banners, standies and DAW posters were also put up in the area. A plastic mat was arranged under the trees for the children’s painting competition and the entire area was blessed with a gentle breeze throughout the day.
As the children from Guwahati and Swabalambi got busy with the painting competition, a parents’ interaction session was initiated by the VAANI team. This began with a brief on VAANI’s belief of working with parents and the importance of a Family Day as a day for families and children to break away from the monotony of their daily routine. The VAANI Family Consultant discussed the need to learn from the environment by feeling and observing amidst fun and enjoyment and also the need for them to share each others’ experiences and thoughts. A mother of a child who was in Bala Vidyalaya for two years also spoke about her experiences.
Refreshments included tea, frooty and samosa; and a biscuit and a chips packet for all the children. Packet lunch comprised of vegetable pulao, matter paneer and gulab jamun was distributed to all the participants.“ I have never participated in any game “ said one of the mothers. “ I am so thrilled to take part in one today.” The parents were more excited than the children, and it was heartwarming to see the children hoping and wishing their parents to win the game.