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Special needs kids from Kolkata school set to show their skills on stage

July 10, 2018

Children from Akshar School in Kolkata are all set to show their acting skills. With just days to go before they stage the famous novel, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, they are busy learning sign language lessons to do justice to the characters.

Fifty-five students of Akshar School, seven of them with special needs, will present a musical based on the Victor Hugo classic at Kala Mandir on 12 July.

Among them is Ritam Mukhopadhyay, a student of class seven, who closely identifies with Quasimodo, a deaf character who is shunned by people. Ritam has spina bifida, because of which is spinal cord has not developed properly. He finds it hard to move his right leg and wears a caliper.

Ritam says that he would crawl earlier and not walk because of which people avoided him. Like Quasimodo, he would be on his own with imaginary friends.

Also in the play is Ansh Metharamani, who has Prader-Willi Syndrome This is a complex genetic condition that affects many parts of the body. This is his second time on stage and he will be singing.

For director Dana Roy and her team, this project has been a challenging one. This is a touch musical to stage but they wanted to challenge the kids. The children are being taught to sing in Latin, English, Romani and some French.

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