Padma Ramani is a true changemaker, who has dedicated her life to improving the lives of children with special needs. Despite having a successful career in banking, Padma’s true passion lay in helping children with disabilities. Her husband’s posting to Muscat Oman in 1996 brought her in touch with neurodiverse children at her son’s school, and from that moment on, she knew that this was what she wanted to do with her life.
Padma’s dedication to special education led her to pursue a BEd in special education in 2002-2003. Her diverse range of experience includes working with multiple disabilities such as autism, Down’s syndrome, microcephaly, Cerebral palsy, and the visually impaired. She has worked in special schools across Vadodara, Kanpur, Mumbai, and Pune, gaining invaluable experience and skills along the way.
What sets Padma apart is her unwavering commitment to her students. She stays in touch with all of them, providing them with support and encouragement long after they have left her care. Her love and dedication have touched the lives of countless children, and their families, who have been blessed to have her in their lives.
Padma’s passion for helping families with disabilities extends beyond the classroom. Along with her friends Akila Vaidyanathan of Coimbatore and Rajendra Pawar in Pune, she organizes adventure camps for children with special needs. These camps have been a great learning experience for Padma, allowing her to understand the challenges that these children face on a daily basis, and how best to support them.
Padma is also involved in online storytelling for both Club Youngistan and Amaze Charitable Trust, using her talents to inspire and entertain children with special needs. Her dedication to these children is simple amazing, and her work is a testament to her unwavering compassion and commitment.
Padma’s journey is a true inspiration to all of us. Her story shows us that by following our passions and dedicating ourselves to helping others, we can make a real difference in the world. We salute her for her unwavering commitment to making the world a better place for children with special needs.
Padma had always known that her calling was to help children in some way. She had initially trained to be a special educator, working with children with special needs. However, the pandemic brought about a change in the way she worked. With the shift to online teaching, Padma found herself exploring new methods of engaging with her young students.
As an avid reader and a lover of stories, Padma decided to incorporate storytelling into her online classes. She started with reciting shlokas and chants, but soon realized that the children needed more. This led her to introduce story time near the end of each session. Padma knew that just telling a story online would not be enough to hold the children’s attention, so she decided to include visual cues in the form of pictures.
The response was overwhelming. The children were not only enjoying the stories, but they were also actively participating in discussions around the stories. Padma noticed that the stories were helping the children to open up, share personal experiences, and express themselves freely. The stories were not only helping with comprehension but also encouraging empathy and imagination.
Padma started incorporating stories related to festivals, accompanied by valuable life lessons. The children were not only learning about the festivals but also gaining wisdom through the stories. The joy and happiness that Padma experienced during these storytelling sessions were unparalleled. Seeing her young audience captivated by her stories gave her immense pride and purpose.
As a storyteller, Padma was also learning from her young students. Their unexpected answers and ideas often surprised her and kept her on her toes. She was constantly amazed at the problem-solving and dynamic thinking skills that her young students displayed during these sessions.
Padma realized that storytelling was not just a form of entertainment, but it could also be used as a powerful tool for teaching life skills and building character. She was thrilled to see the positive impact that storytelling was having on her young students and looked forward to continuing her journey as a changemaker, one story at a time.
Source- Ms Padma Ramani and her story published in Care4autism.
Creative representation for the ChangemakerSaathi story, (representing a strong woman) is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Dhrov Tikoo