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Author Sheila Dhir on her “Why Are You Afraid To Hold My Hand series”
Hey RWYK Family!
Many people believe that Disability is someone else’s problem. They do not believe disability will touch their lives and give little thought to the experience of living with a disability or caring for someone with a disability. Without first-hand experience, they hold on to the belief that at least things are better than they used to be. Today at Reading with your kid’s podcast, We are so thrilled to have Sheila Dhir to tell us about her astonishing and inspirational journey of writing her children’s book series Why are you afraid to hold my hand? series.
This uplifting and educational children’s book series deals with a variety of important and sensitive topics including society’s attitude towards people with disabilities, empowering and educating a girl child, AIDS, Autism, Blindness, Cancer, and Asthma. These six two-color, meaningful, positive and sensitive healthcare awareness children’s books, on the same lines as her book Why Are You Afraid To Hold My Hand ? are to be published by Mango Books ( the children’s division of DC Books, a well-known book publisher in Kottayam, Kerala, India); and marketed and distributed to 8–12 year olds
in the schools and school libraries, initially in Kerala.
Sheila Dhir won the Indo-Soviet Nehru Award when she was thirteen. A graduate of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and a Masters in Mass Communication from the University of Denver, Colorado, she has written and illustrated several books for children, internationally. Her book Gandhi received the Public Relations Society of India Award in 1984. She currently lives in Rome, Georgia, U.S.A., with her husband and twins.
Tune in as Sheila explains her books are written in verse with illustrations, describes the attitudes, reactions, and misconceptions of people on children with disabilities. It’s a book about attitudes. The child in the book has cerebral palsy, and this is the child’s silent dialogue with society. It also describes the reactions of people, their questions and misconceptions, their doubts, fears and preconceived notions. The child responds in verse – simple and straight from the heart.
Be sure to listen as Sheila talks about the purpose behind writing Why are you afraid to hold my hands? series. She also shares her own experience as she encountered people with disabilities and their families, friends, and carers are being segregated, excluded, marginalized and ignored. At best they reported being treated as different. At worst they reported experiencing exclusion and abuse and being the subject of fear, ignorance, and prejudice. She wanted to depict the attitudes of society at large towards the differently abled children and this book sensitively describes the dialogue between a disabled child and society at large.
The overall message of this episode of Reading with your Kids podcast featuring Sheila Dhir is to raise awareness about myths and misconceptions about people with disabilities & we hope it can change attitudes towards people with disabilities and create a more inclusive society. We hope you will join us and be part of this journey!
Why are You Afraid to Hold My Hand?
Written in verse with illustrations, describes the attitudes, reactions, and misconceptions of people on children with disabilities.
Why are You Afraid to Hold My Hand? is available on Amazon!
A big thank you to Sheila Dhir for joining us and sharing her books with us!
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Thanks for tuning in and have a wonderful day!
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