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Colours convey what words can't

Prathibha Parameswaran

At the painting contest for the differently-abled

TIRUCHI: Whom do colours not interest? For students of the Arivalayam School and Rehabilitation Centre for the Mentally Retarded and Hearing Impaired Children, BHEL Township, it was a great opportunity to flaunt their skill with colours at the drawing and painting competition organised by Camlin on Wednesday.

Arivalayam has 207 students in its roll, including 25 hearing impaired. Drawing and painting form a regular schedule here. "Hardly ever do these children get a chance to bring out their talents. The competition would perhaps pep them up to do better," hopes Uma Krishnamurthy, a Camlin tutor.

Students were divided into six categories, each comprising not more than 13. Each group had a teacher supervising the event and prizes were given away to those who excelled. Group I had students from pre-primary and primary sections all below the age of nine. J. Saravanakumar came first while N. Sathya and P. Meenakshi won the next two prizes respectively. S. Abirami bagged the first prize in Group II, in which elementary and junior school students between the age group of 10 and 13 participated. M. Abdul Jaleel and V. Karthikeyan came second and third respectively.

Group III comprised pre-vocational and model classes with participants below 18 years of age. S. Tilakavathi topped while T. Stephen Raj and K. Venkatasubramanian won the next two prizes respectively.

Among the Group IV participants, who were below the age of 25, from the vocational course, U. Shanmugham bagged the first and S. Giridharagopal and R. Madhan came second and third respectively.

Group V consisted of students with hearing impairment among whom, T. Panneerselvam won the first and A. Tamaraiselvi and J. Ranjitha Mary got the next two prizes respectively. I. Kudbhudin Hasique, S. Geetha Lakshmi and K. Arun Kumar bagged the top three prizes respectively in Group IV that included students who were severely mentally challenged aged between 15 and 25.

"It's a good break for students from their habitual work and they can do quite well," applauds the Principal of the Arivalayam, D. Arul Pushpa.

"We have children from the age of five. Most of them are not independent, they have problems in swallowing, speaking or even standing up. It is heartening to see them being so active in competitions such as these, despite their disabilities," she says.

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