Lifestyle Books and Art 26 Oct 2018 Difficult art of mak ...

Difficult art of making sick children smile

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SUCHARITA DAS
Published Oct 26, 2018, 12:16 am IST
Updated Oct 26, 2018, 12:16 am IST
Art to aid healthcare at Children’s Government Hospital.
From Left to Right: Dr Arasar Seeralar, Director of ICH, Aysha Rau, Founder & Managing Trustee of The Little Theatre, Krishnakumar, Artistic Director of The Little Theatre, Dr Srinivasan, Registrar of ICH
 From Left to Right: Dr Arasar Seeralar, Director of ICH, Aysha Rau, Founder & Managing Trustee of The Little Theatre, Krishnakumar, Artistic Director of The Little Theatre, Dr Srinivasan, Registrar of ICH

Laughing and being happy are keys to good health for children during ailments. That is never as easy as it sounds. So the idea of starting a regular theatre among sick children in the Government hospital wards is not only novel but also certain to spread some warmth to the sick. 

There is going to be a permanent air-conditioned studio within the children’s hospital premises in Egmore. A MoU has been signed recently between the hospital and The Little Theatre, represented by Aysha Rau, by which the latter gets space just below the palliative care and cancer wards. There will be special ‘Creative Therapy’ workshops on a regular basis for the kids who are terminally ill and for children undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. 

 

A ‘Hospital Clown’ project by The Little Theatre is also planning to introduce clowns in wards to bring a smile to the faces of the kids who are ill. It’s not the nose but the person behind it that can change a child’s environment into a place of joy. The training to be imparted is for the clowns to understand children and hospitals, besides their humorous character and improvisational skills. “The role of a clown and a physician are the same: It’s to elevate the possible and to relieve suffering,” according to Patch Adams. Their number has grown in the last 40 years and today they have become an integral part of hospitals all over the US, UK and Europe.

The installation of a wall of mirrors at the studio is being taken up by Saint Gobain. “The work has already begun and we hope to have the place ready in a couple of months. We need to put in wooden floors, air-conditioners, buy performance lights and sound systems, a digital TV screen, and materials for workshops. All this can happen only if we are able to find sufficient funds to set up the project! We are actively fund raising. Anyone who wants to help contribute to these costs is welcome to support us. The Little Theatre is a registered trust with an 80G exemption,” shares Aysha Rau, founder and managing trustee. 

Sponsorship of the creative workshops began with a programme for underprivileged children at the Middle Corporation School more than 25 years ago. “We have personally seen how the children have benefitted from these workshops. We are convinced the programme we are setting up will have positive effects on helping these patients recover quickly. In case of terminally ill children, they would be spending their last days in a happier frame of mind. I think working in arts and healthcare will be very rewarding for the children and for my team. One needs to take care of one’s emotional and mental health to aid recovery from physical ailments,” she adds cheerfully about her initiative.

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