Deeksha Kalyani is the founder of ‘The Learning Centre’ for students of special needs. The director and promoter of the Kalyani School in Pune she has a rich background in the area of child development.
Cityplus spoke to her about her passion towards creating a platform for children with special needs. She studied and has worked in The Shri Ram School as a student Counsellor from 1997 to 2001. Academically, Deeksha has completed her BA in Psychology from Lady Shri Ram College and her M.A. in Child Psychology from Tufts University in the USA.
Through her school, The Kalyani School she hopes to provide every child with an equal opportunity to achieve their best and create a conducive learning environment that makes students happy to come to school. She explains, “When I was in Grade XI, I decided to study Psychology as it was a subject of interest to me. I was always very fond of children, so I chose to major in Child Psychology. In the mid-nineties, it was not very common for schools to have a Counsellor, but at The Shri Ram School, it was believed that the emotional well-being of the students was also very important. Hence, it was one of the first schools in India to have full time counselling for students, parents and teachers.
Initially, it was very difficult to convince parents to come for counselling. They would not like to hear of problems their children were facing, and would turn a blind eye towards them. Also, since I was very young, they would not like taking advice from me, but with time this issue was overcome.
Her hobbies include spending quality time with children and reading. She believes in giving quality time to children. She loves doing art and craft, building Lego and playing board games with them. Being a voracious reader herself, she is happy that even her children enjoy reading books and they all discuss them together.
Special care for children
In 1997, she set up The Learning Centre in The Shri Ram School which was a centre for students with mild learning disabilities and other special needs. It was very important to give students with special needs an opportunity to be included in a school with normal students as they strive to challenge themselves. It is also a very effective learning experience for normal students, as it teaches them patience, empathy and sensitivity. The Learning Centre was a great success, as it helped many students get specialised education in a mainstream school.
“I have always had an ability to listen well, and that has been my biggest asset as a Counsellor. This field has helped me become very patient and understanding,” she added.
About The Kalyani School:
The kalyani school is in collaboration with The Shri Ram School, Delhi, which has been consistently rated in the top 5 schools of India in the last ten years. The focus of the school is to be a child-centric education system, where they will bring out the best in each child. They also believe in imparting a strong value-based education, so that the students become responsible and caring citizens in the future.
Credit: Jagran City Plus – 16 April 2015