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Puppet show for children & adults on World Cerebral Palsy Day aims to sensitise parents about disability

World over puppet shows are a fun, evocative way of building awareness and bringing attitude change. This weekend, as part of the many events held to mark World Cerebral Palsy Day, a puppet show was held in Mumbai to impart lessons in emotional independence to people with disabilities as well as their parents.

Emotional independence is something all parents struggle with. Wanting your child to be grown up, yet fearing to let go because they seem so young and inexperienced. When it comes to a child with disability, the fears and anxieties are even stronger.

A situation that Jasmina Khanna is all too familiar with. A working professional based in Mumbai, Jasmina has cerebral palsy and prides in being an independent, articulate person. She was fortunate to have a father who supported her in in the journey to become so and wants to make more families aware of the importance of doing so. Hence, the idea of doing a puppet show.

The theme of the puppet show was emotional independence for person with disability and their parents and this was the first time we did a puppet show to sensitise both parents and person with disability. The message that we want give is to make a person with disability as independent as possible, be it emotionally, physically, and mentally. Parents should not be over protective and should prepare the person with disability to face the challenges of life, to live life with dignity and self esteem. -Jasmina Khanna, Mumbai systems engineer

The puppet show was held at the Happy Feet Pediatric Centre in Mumbai and a majority of people present were children and adults with cerebral palsy and their families.

"The theme was 'Emotional independence for persons with disabilities and their parents' and this was a first for us, sensitising parents about disability through a puppet show", adds Sanket Khadilkar, a physiotherapist at whose clinic the show was held. Sanket and Jasmina have also worked together to conduct accessibility audits in some city wards.

The story of the puppet show was written by Satish DeSa, an ad filmmaker and close friend of Jasmina. "The story is called 'The Broken-Winged Bulbul' and I created this especially for the puppet show". Satish says he was inspired by the story of Jasmina and her father. "I wanted to leave the children and especially their parents with the message - 'Everybody has the ability to impact the world, even those who are not physically able.'.

To know more about such events, visit Wagtales - Sanctuary of Childhood

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