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Compassion is so often the solution | Avinash Kumar | Heroes of EduSports

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Hailing from Gorakhpur, I started with my first job in North Karnataka. It was at a school, as a sports teacher. A while into the job, I noticed a kid - in first grade - who behaved very differently from the lot. Very quiet, disinterested - in almost everything, one with a rather sad report card. I enquired from the fellow teachers to find out more about his situation. They ridiculed him saying that he has always been like that - the dull student that they never liked. 

I took this issue to the Principal. He told me that they have all been on my spot and tried to make things better, but the kid just won’t listen. However, he allowed me to work on the student in whatever possible ways I wanted to. I started to hang out around him and gave him some activities. I was still not able to figure what the problem really is and decided to meet his parents. The Principal extended his full support and asked two local teachers to accompany me for bridging the language barrier. 

After the school, we boarded the bus along with the kid. He never reacted when we told him about our little visit. He remained silent, expressionless. But, as soon as the bus entered the vicinity of his house and slowed down, he sprang out of the seat and jumped off the bus. He seemed happy, was shouting something in Kannada and ran towards his house. We trailed him promptly. I hadn’t seen him do any of what he was doing at that time - happy, cheerfully screaming, running, all of it. My fellow teachers translated him for me. He was calling his family members in and chiming that my teachers are here to visit. It was difficult to believe that it was the same kid. We had a discussion with his parents and talked about his behaviour at school. 

Later on, it was found out that the kid had a dual personality disorder - he was a different person when he was around his folks and a totally different one at school. The situation was difficult to deal with, but not impossible to work around. Gradually, I started pushing him to the ground, made him the leader in every class, asked him to give assembly commands and other such tasks that helped him open up.

I think that our society needs to understand disabilities better and react in the right way. Societal pressure makes it even more difficult for differently abled people to cope.

 

(Avinash Kumar, Delivery Manager, Gorakhpur)

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Guest Saturday, 18 November 2017