Everyone is differently unique and uniquely different. Bukkaraya Samudram School (BKS) in Andhra Pradesh embodies this notion and employs sports and cultural activities to empower children with hearing and speech impairment. BKS was pitched in 2008 when the Rural Development Trust (RDT) commissioned the school to be a singular institution in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh which not only provides a quality education to its pupils but also ensures personality development and character building using innovative techniques polished in the glimmer of sports and other cultural activities. The schools non-academic approach to deal with academics and sports has led to its popularity among parents, who are keen to send their children to this school and create insight about the lives of differently- abled kids.
BKS has proudly donned itself with a cricket ground, a tennis court, a volleyball court, a play area for younger children as well as indoor halls for badminton, chess and other games, unlike other schools of that region. For children with a more artistic approach, it offers classical, non- classical dance training with miming and handicraft. The team there instigates sensitization workshops to help families and friends understand the enormous potential of their students and all the things they are capable of achieving, regardless of their disability.
In a normal academic cycle, after the training in primary school the student is confident and knowledgeable enough to choose an activity of their interest which they will continue participating in during their secondary school education. This provides them with an air of self- assurance and buoyancy. BKS students also participate in Unified Sports, a sports initiative where differently-abled individuals and abled individuals compete against each other. This one of a kind sport event gives the students to test their skills and abilities in a real world setting. Usually their area of expertise lies in cricket, where their team won the Rural Cricket Tournament thrice. But they also play various other sports like chess and athletics. Pranusha Rani, alum of BKS, represented India at the South Asian Championship for Chess in 2009.
Students, later go on to pursue graduation and post- graduation. BKS and RDT, together offer vocational training courses and training in skills such as handicrafts, carpentry, pottery, gardening ad cooking so that the children are trained all over and are fully equipped to handle themselves in the real world. . The Bukkaraya Samudram High School has changed lives of more than 300 children out of which 13 of them are diligently pursuing post-graduation and 7 are leading comfortable lives with lucrative careers.
Ujjwala Sinha | TOC[infobox]
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