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Kids with autism recreate the much loved Jungle Book in Bengaluru

Rudyard Kupling's Jungle Book has added much colour, fun and excitement to lives as children. Mowgli's innocence and Bagheera's strength has touched many hearts while Baloo's antics continue to make kids laugh.

Iconic characters that came alive once again in a theatre event by a group of children with autism at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall in Bengaluru.

The event was organized by the Bubbles Centre for Autism in collaboration with Pragati Towards Livelihood and IDFC First Bank. It was a real treat to witness over 50 children coming together to recreate characters of the world famous classic under the guidance of Diana Tholoor.

Over the years, experts have pointed out how theatre is an ideal therapy for children with autism. Given their struggles with social and motor skills, theatre plays a crucial role in helping them develop these skills. Through eye contact, dialogues and interacting with team-mates, children experience something new and unique in theatre.

As kids with autism finds it hard to handle too many lights and sounds, the mentors ensured that these were reduced so they have a great time along with the adults. Since this is the fifth edition of organizing such an event, Bubbles and the team were geared up for nothing less than the best.

Children with autism have sensory issues. So, lights, sounds and crowd can make them uncomfortable and also trigger them. Therefore, we had a year round program where children and adults with autism at our centre were sensitized about all these. Basically, we prepared them to handle all that with ease. -Sarbani Mallick, Founder, Bubbles Centre for Autism

Children as young as five years as well as adults up to 30 years took part. All of them put up a splendid show with the audience cheering throughout the play.

"Our society tends to discriminate and talk about disability of a person. But these children and adults with autism learnt the 100-page script and performed on stage. Honestly, I cannot think of doing that myself. So where is a disability here? How can someone judge another person on their abilities and disabilities? I feel that the context of disability must change. Let us learn to celebrate our differences," added Mallick.

V Vaidyanathan,Managing Director-Chief Executive Officer, IDFC First Bank, who was the chief guest, agreed the event was an eye opener.

"Usually children who are autistic are uncomfortable in social situations. To rise above their challenges and put up such a wonderful show was most inspiring to us. It was a pleasure for us to participate with Bubbles on this effort", said Mr. Vaidyanathan.

Most importantly, this theatre event showcased the talents and exceptional skills of children with autism. Clearly, with the right guidance, these youngsters can show the world the incredible potential they have.

ALSO READ: Some fun activities at home for a child with autism

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