CHENNAI: With 200 new pictorial books in their library, the young kids at the Spastic Society of Tamil Nadu (SPASTN) will now get a chance to imagine and learn through visuals! The books donated by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chennai (JCCIC), is being seen as the latest initiative by Japan in collaborating with India for social causes.
Speaking on the occasion, Masanori Nakano, Consul-General of Japan in Chennai, said, “We have now completed ten years of JICCI.” He added, “And as part of our contribution to Indian society, we are giving these picture books, keeping in touch with a Japan-based NGO Keieisha no Hiroba.”
This is not SPASTN’s first association with Japan. The institution has already received the Grant Assistance for Grass Roots Project by the Japanese government twice, and was also witness to a visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan in 2013. “We are not looking for grand ceremonies, but we would like to make small and meaningful contributions,” said Tsuyoshi Yamane, team leader of the JCCIC 10th anniversary project.
The school, which has been working on the rehabilitation of differently-abled children and youth since 1981, has also helped many students with employment and vocational training, based on their ability. Many of the students are from weak economic backgrounds, and the school relies on their support.
“Fees cannot be a source of revenue for us, moreover there are many medical needs that have to be taken care of. Such initiatives would help us in getting more support from individuals and corporates,” said L V Jayashree, the director of SPASTN. “Japan has gone a long way in making its infrastructure more inclusive for people with disability, it has set many benchmarks which we need to follow,” she added. And such initiatives, said the organisers, would only further the ties between Japan and India.