Governor, Dr. Tamilisai Soundarajan, unveiled Mindscapes, a Coffee Table Book on Art by Children with Special Needs Super Abled Children speciality is the most neglected branch of medicine: Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan

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Hyderabad, December 06, 2022….. Governor of Telangana, Her Excellency, Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan unviled Mindscapes, a Coffee Table Book on Art by Children with Special Needs in a function held on Tuesday at ASCI(Administrative Staff College of India), Banjara Hills, Road No. 3. The book is brought out by Margika, an NGO which works for children with special needs.

Dr SK Joshi, Former Chief Secretary, Telangana State Government graced as Guest of Honour.  Mr Mahesh Bhagavath, Police Commissioner of Rachakonda also graced.

Speaking on the occasion Governor said super abled Children speciality is the most neglected area of branch of medicine. The problem can be identified when the child is in mother’s womb between 8 to 12 weeks but we fail to do so. If we know, the parents many not cooperative to abort the child, she said.

This is one of my areas of interest. So I went to Canada to study Fetal Therapy, she said.

We make a mistake watching kids suffer. We want kids to cope up with normal activity. Then you will know it is too late to correct motor activity and kid is left to suffer life time, Governor said.

Super Abled Children is the most neglected because there isn’t much earning in this. It is service oriented one and takes a lot of effort. Governor congratulated Dr Neena Rao for her efforts.

Governor later unveiled Mindscapes, a Coffee Table Book on Art by Children with Special Needs

We don’t have special education programs.  This is the most neglected subject in our society said SK Joshi, Former Chief Secretary   

It could probably be the only book in the world that explores heartfelt stories of special children expressed in myriad ways by themselves

The book is an outcome of  Merak,  a Talent show in which special children from all over the country participated.  The book contains art works, essays and poems by special children from all over the world.

Dr. Neena Rao gave up her 20 years illustrious career inspired by her autistic son to found Margika, an NGO to give the best quality of life to her son as well as to extend support services to parents with similar children and needs

I didn’t want any other child to suffer like my son. We need an inclusive society.  Special needs children deserve to lead happy and normal lives. I started Margika to make a difference to the children and their families said Dr Neena Rao.   One in 500 people or 0.2% of the population in India is autistic, she added while welcoming the gathering.

Our mission at Margika is to ‘dispel stigma, create awareness and provide training in advance Knowledge and practices  Dr Neena Rao added.

The book is brought out, inspired by the Meraki a Talent show in which children from all over the country participated. The book contains art works, essays and poems by special children from all over the world.

It is brought out by Margika Foundation, a Hyderabad and US-based NGO.  It is founded by Neena Rao, a Maharashtrian who is married to a Telugu man and lives in India and the USA is a mother of a boy with Aspergers(a developmental disorder affecting the ability to effectively socialise and communicate). He inspired her to give up her career as an academic and development professional to create Margika – a Network for Training & Capacity Building for Better Care of Children with Special Needs.

Art and creativity are patent healing tools for special needs children, says Dr Neena Rao.

The highest spiritual leader and former head of state of Tibet the Dalai Lama wrote a Foreward to the book. Children with special needs are often talented and intelligent in every specific way. The book Mindspaces by Dr Neena Rao celebrates the insights and artistic skills and heartfelt stories of such children, His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote in the foreword.

Art is a powerful tool in healing and growth, writes Dr MatcheriKeshavan, at Harvard Medical School in another foreword. Besides the Foreward, he also wrote an article ‘How does the brain make art?’.

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Dr Shashi Tharoor, MP; Aamir khan, Actor; Ms Shanta Sinha, Former Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and several other highly accomplished and distinguished personnel have given their testimonies to the book.

The 250 pages hardbound book printed at Pragati Press in Hyderabad features a treasure of art pieces and other talents by children with special needs and the world will get to hear these stories in their voices. Along with every art piece, there are verses regarding the child’s feelings about the work they have created or how they feel about that particular talent. The majority of these children are from rural government schools and thus, belong to the most socially and economically disadvantaged group of society.

This book, Mindscapes, explores the honest, heartfelt stories of children and young adults with special needs, through a sincere expression of ideas. And entries include a variety of artistic mediums; poetry, paintings, sketches, stories etc.  Mindscapes provide individuals with special needs a showcase of their hidden potential, helping them to connect with professional artists in the mainstream and pursue their artistic endeavours.

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This is a rare platform, a platform for special children and young adults, which I strongly believe will improve these children’s faith in their capabilities, and generate joy amongst themselves and their families. The objective is to offer help, guide, and encourage them in the long run, adding more meaning to the cause that Margika believes in, says Dr Neena Rao, an NRI, CEO and Founder of Magarika, an India and USA-based NGO for children with Special Needs, believes in looking at individual identities for their personalities, traits, talents, and strengths.

The print run of the book is 5000.  It costs Rs 2950/-. The proceeds of the book will go towards the training of autistic related subjects.

The aim of organizing Meraki for children with special needs and creating a Coffee Table Book was to create a safe space that is:

a) free from judgement,

b) where they are respected and celebrated for being themselves

c)And the world gets to hear these children’s stories in their voices

Margika works towards mental health awareness, inclusive education, and other services directed toward ‘special-needs children.

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