Enrollment at Latika Vihar ranges from 40 to 125, depending on the time of year, with peak membership in the summer. Children under three must come with a parent; the upper age limit is 14, after which children are encouraged to stay on as volunteers. The centre is open for two hours every afternoon, five days a week.
We have a toy room, a library, a dance and music room, extensive outdoor equipment, a potter’s grove and a bamboo weaving hut.
Creativity, self-expression, freedom and imagination are the over-riding values of Latika Vihar. Every day, at least four different activities are offered, including cooking, art and craft, music, dance, pottery, basket weaving, drama, sports and story-telling. Children are free to participate in whatever captures their interest. There is no pressure to do anything in particular and if a child begins an activity and then decides it’s boring, he is free to drop it mid-stream. Some children prefer to spend all their time in the sandpit, others play only cricket, still others like to sit with their friends and giggle and chat.
Children with disabilities are an integral part of Latika Vihar and we ensure that every child joins in the fun. Our staff is trained to include everyone, especially those who don’t know how much they are missing. Typical children learn to take special needs in stride at Latika Vihar. It’s a model of how inclusion works.
The main thing at Latika Vihar is having fun in an atmosphere free from competition or pressure to perform. It’s a place where children feel safe, free and special.