One of the highlights of my trip was a visit to a school which is a Catholic School educating all grades including a school for the blind and and the differently abled. (While on that subject, it is so nice how all of India refers to people as “differently abled” rather than “disabled”. I saw this phrase on other signs and places too.)
The Jeevan Jyoti (meaning: life and light) was so impressive. The regular education classroom had inclusion and educates 1,400 students. The blind students live on campus. They also provide rehabilitation, physical therapy, and family education and counseling for the families of differently abled children. I was amazed at the work they were doing and how well behaved, hard working and polite the students were. In one eighth grade class I counted forty students in one room! Student leaders greeted us with a “hearty and happy welcome”. A girl from 12th grade read a statement welcoming us. I went around and asked the student leaders what they aspire to be. I heard professor, teacher, engineer, civil service, military service and doctor. They were very impressive and poised. In the eighth grade class they were participating in an essay contest about “Swachh Bharat” or the “Clean India” campaign that was started by Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister. I asked a girl if I could read her essay and I took a picture of it…
Students are writing an essay about the importance of a clean India. As I have mentioned in other posts, waste management, pollution and the availability of bathrooms is an issue in India. We were given a tour by the principal and some teachers.
Later in the day we had a session about Tibetan and Buddhist Art. Most of their styles of art are devotional or are used to meditate upon. This includes depictions of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas (enlightened beings) and Mandalas. This devotional art is called Thangka. I didn’t realize for the paintings of Buddha that the figure is sketched out with precise measurements and then painted with paint made from minerals. The works of art were so impressive and we visited he fine arts department at the university.
Sketch. If you look closely you can see the precise measurements used.