On the rest day on Wednesday 20 November, a group of journalists visited Vidya Sagar, formerly the Spastics Society of Chennai. Vidya Sagar is a voluntary organization based in Chennai, that works with children and young adults with cerebral palsy and other neurological disabilities, their families and the communities they live in. They focus on persons with cerebral palsy, no matter how profoundly affected and other disabilities, where facilities are Inaccessible for their families and the communities they live in. The organization is supported by Vishy and Aruna Anand.
In 2005 Vidya Sagar received the” NATIONAL AWARD FOR THE WELFARE OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, “awared in recognition of its outstanding performance in the field of Welfare of persons with disabilities”.
You can find an excellent pictorial report about the visit to Vidya Sagar and to “Anand’s Chennai” on ChessVibes.
Aruna told me that they came into contact with Vidya Sagar, when they were told that one of the students, Karthik Chandrasekar wanted to play a game of chess with his idol, Vishy Anand. They visited the institution and Vishy became the brand ambassador.
Warm words from Anand.
Karthik proudly shows a picture of his meeting with Anand. He has also visited the world championship match in Chennai. Karthik often plays online on various online chess servers and has an online rating of around 1550-1600.
Ms. Rajul Padmanabhan showed us around the school and after a Powerpoint presentation, with tea and cookies, one of the students, M. Swaminathan, showed us his drawing skills. He designed the letterhead of the school and he also designed Anand’s business cards.
Ok, now what to draw?
Let’s create something from these pictures, then!
Swami was very concentred when he started drawing the picture. He started off with the pieces on the chessboard….
…and continued with Anand.
Together with his mentor Jacob, Swami discussed the structure of the picture.
And this is the result. I asked why he had drawn the pieces over Anand’s head. Swami told me, that the picture symbolizes that Anand’s head is always full of chess. I was quite impressed that it took Swami only about 30 minutes to create this abstract masterpiece!
And while Peter Doggers showed the children some recent pictures he made at the world championship venue (or did he open a few free chess.com accounts?)…
…HWS found a new friend.
Visiting Vidya Sagar makes you realize, that there is more in life than 1.e4 or 1.d4. We had a great time at Vidya Sagar and we were happy that we were able to give the children some pleasant moments. I hope they liked it as much as we did!