Friendship: A Matter of the Heart. And a cup of Chai.

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.

 

– Hubert H. Humphrey

 

Friendships are precious treasures in our lives.

 

As human beings, we have an innate need to connect with others. Being social, we seek interactions with other human beings.

 

Friendships are deep bonds based on openness, trust, acceptance, honesty and sincerity.
With friends, we can truly be ourselves and let our hair down.

 

When bonds of the heart are close, time and place are not deterrents.
That’s why even if we meet a friend after a length of time, we pick up from where we left off.

 

Unbridled laughter, joy, camaraderie is what friendships are about.

 

Are you a parent or a relative of somebody with special needs?
Do you worry about your child not having friends?
Are you apprehensive about how your child will connect another person?
If your child is non verbal you worry even more, isn’t it?
What and how will your child share with somebody else?

 

This heartwarming story will change your perception about friendship.

 

We, at SAI Connections had the privilege of hosting a special event on July 25th.

 

The event was organised by The Better India.

 

Two members of the 6 Pack Band, Ananya and Anjali, joined our students along with other friends.

 

It was a time to bond through interesting activities facilitated by teachers at SAI Connections.

 

A festive feeling permeated the atmosphere.

 

In one room, Vishal and Viji along with their new friends put together a sumptuous ‘black chana chaat’. They all bonded over sharing the responsibility of preparing the chaat and enjoying it together. It was finger licking good.

 

As was the ‘corn chaat’ created by Shraddha and Varsha.
Everyone who tasted it vouched for it!

 

The art room was a flurry of activity.
Music in the background, canvases laid out, paints and brushes strewn all over- what a way to bond and relax.

 

Mohit met Riddhi for the first time. Yet they came up with a beautiful piece of art together. Riddhi used a sponge to paint while Mohit used a paintbrush.
It was a joy to watch them coordinating with each other.

 

Prasad mesmerized new friends he met over beautiful craft work he created.
He was so proficient in putting together paper flowers along with his new found friends.

 

The aroma of freshly baked cup cakes wafted from the baking room. Who could resist this? Our students Rishi and Aashni along with Ananya and Anjali baked and decorated the cup cakes.

 

The cupcakes didn’t reach the guests! Ananya shared how irresistible the hot, moist cupcakes were! They were quickly gobbled down by the participants – straight out of the oven.

 

Wi Fitness and Computer activities were another area of connection.
The students and band players experimented with various games on ipads, computers and the gaming station.

 

Take a look at the smiling faces and heart to heart bonding.

 

 

Courtesy- The Better India

 

Friendship is about accepting people – just as they are.
That afternoon will be etched in our memories forever.
Deep bonds of love and respect were created that day.

 

If I have to sum up my experience it would be, “Move beyond second hand perceptions and take out some time to experience the joy which all of these wonderful children have. It will definitely uplift you. They will remove your prejudices and you will realize that at the core, they are no different than any of us.”

 

– Ranjit Chawla (a guest)

 

I liked the theme of the event- Friendship. It’s universal.
That’s what the event showed us. Every human being likes to meet and interact with others. It was wonderful to watch our students who were very comfortable with total strangers not only joining them in various activities but also interacting with them in their own way and sharing their space and food with them.

 

– Viji Srinivas (Parent)

 

It’s time to address your queries about friendships with people with special needs.

 

Let me repeat the questions at the beginning of this article.

 

Are you a parent or a relative of somebody with special needs?
Do you worry about your child not having friends?
Are you apprehensive about how your child will connect another person?
If your child is non verbal you worry even more, isn’t it?

 

You need not worry anymore!

 

This wonderful event allayed all my fears too.
It reinforced my belief that individuals with special needs are different, but not less in any way.

 

In fact, they are far more. They love and laugh without inhibitions.
They don’t have barriers in their hearts or minds.

 

In those few hours, each of us let go of our own barriers too.

 

Friendship is a matter of the heart.

 

We connected with each other and made wonderful friends over art, music and food.
And a cup of Chai.

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