Quizzes are a lot of fun. The tense moments after a question is asked, the quick guess-work, and the nervous tapping of the buzzer — all add up to an exhilarating experience, for participants, quizmasters and the audience.
Children with special needs love to take part in quizzes as well — if given a chance. Well, now they do, thanks to Quizabled, a one-of-a-kind initiative spearheaded by three friends, and an NGO.
Sharath Babu, Akshat A, and Himadri Banerjee of 4 Edge Quizzing Solutions sat down with the team at Seva in Action, to conceptualise a quiz for differently-abled children. They wanted to do something for these children, as they do not get many chances to participate in competitive events.
Quizabled, a result of that brainstorming, is sponsored by Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited, and is a competition for kids with disabilities from both regular and special schools, across Bengaluru. Kids are divided into four separate categories, as intelligence levels differ across all groups.
The four categories are:
a) Intellectually Challenged Children.
b) Children with Autism and Cerebral Palsy
c) Visually-impaired children.
d) Hearing-impaired children.
The organisers hope that quiz will encourage children to strengthen their knowledge about the world at large, and also foster a sense of team spirit as well.
The questions have been formulated after a lot of research. Coming up with the questions for the first edition was quite a challenge, according to Himadri. The team would visit schools for children with special needs, in Bangalore, to observe the kids.
The data collected, helped in framing particular types of questions, especially for autistic and intellectually disabled children. The latter found the format difficult, and for the second edition of Quizabled, intellectually disabled children got their own category.
The team spoke to specialists in NIMHANS before formulating questions for the second edition. Their hard work paid off, and the quiz was a big hit.
For the third edition, the format has changed. The prelims are being held on December 8th, with the finals scheduled for December 16th. After the prelims, the top 6 teams in every category are chosen to participate, while the ones that don’t make it, become a part of the audience.
Organising an event like this has its rewards. After the first edition, Himadri noticed many of the children went on to write entrance exams. He also mentions that the general knowledge of the children showed a considerable improvement, and many schools introduced sessions focussing on general knowledge in the daily schedule.
Asked about future plans, Himadri says that he wants to take this concept out of Bengaluru, to other cities. While they have faced resistance, they have also successfully convinced many schools and parents to allow their children to participate in Quizabled.
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Himadri is optimistic about the future. He believes that the exposure to a vast amount of general knowledge will undoubtedly benefit the children. He wants them to go beyond just living their lives. He wants to help them create a sustainable future, full of promise.