Educationist and founder of AmarJyoti Trust, Padmashri Dr. Uma Tuli, talks about holistic approach to learning can bring about inclusive education.
Motivation Guru, Leo Buscaglia once said ‘Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the small act of caring all of which have the potential to turn a life around’. Dr. Uma Tuli’s life and work through Amar Jyoti school has been to be that caring hand that has tended to and nurtured dreams of many students with disabilities. Setup in 1981, Amar Jyoti School has been doing monumental work in driving inclusion in society through a holistic approach to education, health and employment of children with disability. Not only is the school completely barrier free with accessible transportation and special furniture for children, it also boasts of speech and language lab, science lab, computer lab along with basketball courts, cricket fields, swimming pool. Children studying at Amar Jyoti besides learning their syllabus get to partake in various activities like sports, art, cultural and vocational activities. Be it pottery, jewellery design, baking or tailoring, Amar Jyoti teaches its students these and much more skills. Being in such a participative environment has simply motivated the children to win laurels for the school in sports at International and National Special Olympics or in Art and craft at International Abilympics or doing Bhangra on Wheel Chair for the Republic Day Parade in Delhi. Dr. Uma Tuli also highlights the barriers for inclusive education and how to mitigate them by involving the community, family, school, NGO’s, Media, government and corporate companies. This has been the Amar Jyoti way of building inclusive society which has won, both the school and Dr. Tuli, various awards and recognition internationally. Despite the various awards and laurels showered on Dr. Uma Tuli, she feels that putting a smile on every kids face is the biggest award she has got.
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About Uma Tuli
Dr. Uma Tuli is an educationist, social worker, rehabilitation professional and sports woman with a multifaceted personality. She was the first non-bureaucrat appointed by the Government of India as Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. Her contribution in the Disability sector has earned her several accolades. The most significant of them are Padma Shri for Social Work, Manav Seva Award, Helen Keller Award. As the Founder and Managing Secretary of Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust, it has been Dr. Tuli’s efforts that have led Amar Jyoti to take the pioneering concept of inclusive education, integrated sports and cultural activities to new heights. Under her leadership Amar Jyoti has gone from strength to strength including created a historic ‘first’ by participating in Republic Day Parade in 1995, introducing Abilympics in India. Dr. Tuli has played an important role in the drafting of the 1995 Persons with Disability Act in India. She has presented several papers in National and International Conferences and also authored and co-authored several books, including “The Spirit Triumphs”, “Better Care of Children with Locomotor Disability” and contributed towards ‘Seen, but not Heard’.
Amar Jyoti: http://www.amarjyotirehab.org/
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Amar Jyoti Research & Rehabilitation Centre
Karkardooma, Vikas Marg, Delhi 110 092
Phone: 91-11-22375205, 46866200