For the most part, we shouldn’t be surprised by children’s behaviour. They learn it from us. They watch us closely  – not just when we think we are “teaching” them, but all the time. They watch when we are under stress, when we are angry, when all our buttons get pushed. They watch us when we are hot and tired and exasperated and they store it all up in their bag of tricks to be brought out when THEY are hot or tired or exasperated.

Usually, this meaimg_3558ns trouble, and parents and teachers often get “caught,” so to speak, when we see our worst selves being imitated to perfection by our children.

So I was moved almost to tears on a visit to Karuna Vihar School today where I had the chance to observe children practicing what they have very obviously learned from their teachers.

Chotu is a boy with many difficulties, one of which is  called “self-hurting”. It is painful to watch him hit and pinch himself  or to struggle and cry to be allowed to. It always amazes me to see how gently and lovingly the teachers work with him.

This is Ramesh holding Chotu and he never seems to lose his cool or to forget the importance of what he is doing.

One of our strategies with Chotu is to keep the number of people working with him to an absolute minimum. So it’s an intense job for Ramesh, with few breaks. His loving interaction is inspiring.

And when I say inspiring, I really mean it.

Here is Shweta, who is a few years older than Chotu and has taken on the role of elder sister to him. Clearly taking her cues from Ramesh and others who work in Karuna Vihar, she looks like a young special educator in the making:




I know this speaks volumes about Shweta and what a wonderful person she is, but it also speaks libraries about the fine examples she has to emulate at Karuna Vihar.

Showing 10 comments
  • Angie (the one in Norway!)

    This one nearly moved me to tears, too. Knowing the characters in the story makes it sweeter. To have it captured on film and communicated to those of us far away is a gift. Thank you, Jo.

  • Cathleen Chopra-McGowan

    What a wonderful testimony to the teachers at Karuna Vihar, and to everything the Latika Roy foundation stands for. Thank you for sharing this

  • Priyam

    The best story I could have read to start the day. I needed some inspiration and I found it.

  • savita

    You chose a worth capturing subject and reinforced it by these tender pictures! It touches the heart.. Only a writer can do it…

  • sushma

    I was reading this article with my son (2.5yrs old)on my lap, & he just said on seeing the pix “mamma didi baby paar” with finger pointing the pix. i just loved his instant enthu reponse. Your way of communicating is really amazing.

  • Sree

    Chotu….such a sweet child!….It is really heart wrenching when he resorts to self-injurious behaviour…But he like everyone else at KV are so blessed to have each other…to comfort, to support, to love and be loved….Shweta’s photos do make us realise how children mirror their teachers and caregivers and what an important influence all of us are on them…Cheers to the KV team!!! 🙂

    • Idana

      This introduces a plaiensgly rational point of view.

  • Shachi

    The first time I visited Karuna Vihar (as a part of my orientation), I was moved to tears by the way the kids welcomed my presence amongst them, how they held my hand, gave me a chair and said Namaste. Now I realise the efforts behind these little gestures. Kudos to the teachers at Karuna Vihar! Thank you for sharing this.

  • paula

    How beautiful-The teachers at Karuna Vihar are just wonderful.

  • prem kr. singh

    Thank you for sharing heart touching behaviour of child as well as staff of Latika roy foundation.

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