A Journey with Special Children – By Irfan Hamid
My journey with special children started about 18 years back when I had just started my career. I still remember that day when I was sitting outside my class when a parent comes to me and asks me if I teach dance to special children, at that point of time I didn't understand the word "Special Children" but I agreed to meet the child. The next day when the child came to me I didn't know how to react and its then when I understood the word "Special” it meant mentally and physically challenged child. I disagreed to teach that child dance but before leaving the child insisted on having a peep inside the dance class and she hugged me before leaving. There was so much warmth, love & affection in her hug that I agreed to teach her dance and that was the beginning, no looking back ever. A lot more special children joined the dance class but I wanted to give them a feeling of being normal like any other child so I put 2 special children in each of my regular normal batches and finally we had about 14 special kids in our academy. These special children inaugurate the shows organised by ER2 Academy with a Diya dance. These children love to dance, they love to interact with everyone present around them, and they are very happy when involved in any kind of work and are also very helpful. The vibrations got from these kids are so positive so pure so innocent. I gained a lot of recognition for my work with these kids that I got an opportunity to train children from DILKHUSH SPECIAL KIDS SCHOOL. We got a chance to take these kids to participate in the BOOGIE WOOGIE CONTEST and also to perform at ST. XAVIERS SCHOOL where these kids got a standing ovation. I trained these school children for about 3 - 4 years but due to the building pressure of my own work I had to discontinue going to the school but continued teaching of special children at our academy.
Over the years Mr. Irfan Hamid has been counselling many people from different walks of life & dealing with various subjects & problems faced by them. He is a day-to-day counsellor who specializes in Personal Counselling, Child & Adolescent Counselling, Parental Counselling, and Study Skills & Dealing with emotions. It is his knowledge and experience of life which has mastered him in helping people to cope with all kinds of issues or stress in their lives. It is his innovative methods of tackling issues & coming out with simple, practical and meaningful solutions, which makes people feel at ease with him which also enables them to have a heart to heart conversation with him. He helps people who have lost the spirit of life in them; he provides them with ways and means of handling any challenges of life. As time has passed by he has counselled not only individuals but has also been invited to many educational institutes for counselling sessions for their students & teachers. It gives him immense pleasure being around kids, listening to their problems, trying to understand their point of view. He keeps in mind all these points before coming to any conclusion and acts accordingly. Teachers who handle so many students in their class are also faced with difficult situations; he acts like their guide showing them the way to emerge out of such circumstances. His unique ability to handle any kind of situation has made him very popular with many such reputed institutes not only in Mumbai but all over India.
Sanjeevani & Tejaswini these twin sisters born in the year 1987 are mentally & physically challenged girls who live with their family in Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri. In spite of being physically and mentally challenged these girls are capable of handling the household chores by themselves without any kind of help or support. They run a Book Library from their house, which is completely handled by them, right from maintaining the registers to communicating with the members of the library. They believe in keeping a stress free mind by practicing Yoga everyday to relax their mind and body. In their initial days they used to do their schooling at SNDT Special School and later on they moved on to Aga Khan Ismail School and have educated themselves till 7th Std. Dancing is their passion, they love to dance and it’s the thing, which gives them utmost happiness. Their sister helps them in practicing their dance, correcting them from time to time so as to make them perfect. They learn dancing from ER2 Academy of Fine Arts, Mr. Irfan Hamid being their teacher. They have been with Irfan Sir since 4 years and they share a very good rapport with each other. Irfan Sir has been in dancing field for over 18 years now, he teaches dance not only to normal kids but also physically & mentally challenged kids. But these 2 girls are so good at dancing, their body flows so rhythmically with the music that Irfan Sir feels they are better dancers than other kids. He treats them in a manner, which makes them feel so normal, just like any other child. He doesn’t believe in giving them any kind of special attention or treatment, which actually boosts their morale. Mr. Irfan Hamid believes that almost every person possesses a potential of creativity and that we can draw out the innate capacity in them to the Ultimate. Mr. Irfan Hamid has earned great recognition for his work with individuals requiring special care. These students with training have had the opportunity to perform on stage. And now Irfan Sir feels that these girls should be given some kind of platform to showcase their talent. By giving them the platform it proves that dance is an art, which has no barriers and can be performed by anyone. It will not only boost their confidence, self esteem but will also give them immense happiness & build up a positive approach to go ahead in their life. These kids should be given an opportunity to face new & exciting challenges of life, which can make them more communicative, sociable & optimistic.
Sanjeevani & Tejaswini started their first on screen stage performance on “Boogie Woogie” a few years ago. “Aashayein” a show lately aired on Zee T.V. gave them another chance to showcase their talents infront of a huge audience boosting their self confidence and giving them immense happiness to be able to prove themselves. The line doesn’t stop here; they also performed on “India’s got Talent” reaching a new level of their inner strength. A very well known & famous studio “Pulse” at Santacruz recently organized a show at St. Andrew’s College Auditorium wherein all the leading choreographers & their students participated. Sanjeevani & Tejaswini also got an opportunity to perform amidst them with a standing ovation from the crowd. Recently they also got an opportunity to perform on “Entertainment ki liye kuch bhi karega”, a performance so stunning and brilliant which moved the judges to tears.