Kavitha Krishnamoorthy

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2014


This profile was prepared when Kavitha Krishnamoorthy was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2014.
The New Idea
Kavitha Krishnamoorthy has pioneered the concept of inclusive playgrounds in India to accommodate children with physical and developmental disabilities and secure their right to play alongside their peers without disabilities in public parks.

By strategically intervening in public play spaces, Kavitha is enabling interactions between children with disability and those without in a public space during their formative years. In partnership with the architects, special educators, children with disability, and their caregivers, Kavitha transforms these parks into spaces that are sensitive to the needs of differently abled children. The redesigned playground not only helps develop key gross and fine motor skills in children but also makes them “visible” in the larger social context, thus normalizing their presence in public spaces. Through the unconscious act of play, a young child’s consciousness is embedded with the idea of a more inclusive world. Kavitha builds a supportive local community through a series of fun and creative events organized in these parks, which encourages caregivers/parents of disabled children to overcome their hesitation and embarrassment to let their children interact with the larger society. Thus, Kavitha is encouraging a culture of acceptance and a pattern for how empathetic public spaces within a city should work.

Having transformed parks in Bangalore, Mangalore and Pune in partnership with local authorities and other partners, Kavitha is now drafting policy guidelines for inclusive playgrounds that will institutionalise this collaborative framework and design process in public infrastructure development. She simultaneously advocates with special schools and CSOs for the disabled to include the concept of inclusive play in their curriculum and activities.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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