Watch these blind students show their skills in Mallakhamb!
Mallakhamb is an old Indian sport, which is an extension of yoga. It is a difficult skill and seven other girls, some partially and some fully blind at the Smt Kamla Mehta Dadar School for the Blind in Mumbai, are impressing everyone with their skills.
Their teacher is 64-year-old Uday Deshpande, who started learning mallakhamb at the age of three. His mission is to demonstrate and share the benefits of mallakhamb with the world.
He has been teaching rope and pole mallakhamb to blind kids since 1990 at Victoria Memorial, Happy Home and Smt Kamla Mehta school for the blind.
To teach blind kids an anti-gravity sport requires a different approach and Deshpande says it has been a rich learning experience for him too.
He realised that these children had always been taught only to walk or walk slower, but never to run. To teach them, he had to break down each step for them, and his voice became their guide on the rope and the pole.
Many of them have become experts and perform on stage. Their confidence and performance on the rope and pole has improved over time.
Deshpande has also taught deaf, speech impaired and physically disabled students. He says that the experience has made him a better teacher than before.
He wants all his blind students to teach other disabled kids so they feel empowered and proud.