Issue No. 332, March 2017
Deepam shines @ 25
Deepam children with the building blocks they made On Friday February 17th, Deepam, Auroville's therapy centre for children with special needs, celebrated 25 years. It began in January, 1992, in the Kuilapalayam tamarind grove beside the Auroville bakery. Concerned at the plight of the mentally-challenged and polio-affected children from the village, Aurovilians Marika, Franca and Appie started a play centre three afternoons a week. They were soon joined by Angelika, an experienced occupational therapist from Germany who had come to visit Auroville for a year to offer therapy to Auroville children at the Kindergarten and Transition School. “The playground’s location was far from ideal,” she remembers. “It was next to the village’s defecation ground and out in the open, except for a small dark thatched room with a veranda where we could do a little something with the children.” While the others gradually dropped out, Angelika continued – to this day. Aro...