By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Oct 17: They are physically challenged and they respond to a challenge and do what the challenge asks them to. This is the very essence of life for some 130 students of Shishu Sarathi, a school for physically challenged located at Birubari, Guwahati.
Like every other year, this year also the students of Shishu Sarathi have made earthen lamps of varied designs and are selling them in the market in the run-up to Diwali. However, the student salesmen have come to know how tough the completion for them in the market is. They are pitted against tough competitors in the market of earthen lamps. Gone are the days when they could sell earthen lamps numbering around 20,000 during the Diwali. Now they can sell hardly 5,000-10,000 such earthen lamps as the market has numerous other players now. They are selling earthen lamps at the rate of Rs 10 apiece. Shishu Sarathi students have been making earthen lamps for the past 12 years.
According to Anindita Gogoi, coorditor of the vocatiol unit of Shishu Sarathi, the school for physically challenged has two vocatiol units – a pre-vocatiol unit and a vocatiol unit. “Since physically challenged students have more chances of lagging behind in education, thrust is equally on vocatiol courses so as to make them earn their living in later life. Pre-vocatiol unit is for students of the age group 11-12 years and the vocatiol unit is for students from 13-18 years. They are taught how to make various articles like paper pen stand, earthen lamps of diverse designs and colours, jewellery, etc., that are displayed in various exhibitions. This apart, the vocatiol units receive orders from companies for supplying articles to be used as gifts. The students make the articles in accordance with orders and we supply them to the parties. We use the fund that is raised through craftsmanship for students’ welfare,” Anindita said.
Life is not that boring for physically-challenged students at the school. They do celebrate all festivals like other students in society. On Tuesday they celebrated pre-Diwali with earthen lamps made by them. Some guests were invited to the celebrations.