Volume 2 Issue 18 - September 15, 2004

Supporting ability

DNIS News Network - Acclaimed film actresses Revathy Menon and Nandita Das came together on September 9 in New Delhi to support the cause of 'The abilities of people with disabilities'.

Picture of Nandita Das and Revathy

The occasion was the inauguration of the Second International Special Film Festival organised jointly by Brotherhood Society and Action Aid India.

The inaugural function highlighted the screening of Mani Ratnam's film 'Anjali' on a child affected from cerebral palsy. "I came in close touch with the Spastics Society of Tamil Nadu while shooting for Anjali. Since then I have been volunteering for the Ability Foundation," informed Menon, who also anchors a radio program called 'Thiramayin Thissail' (In the Direction of Ability).

Talking on the exclusion of children like Anjali from mainstream education, actress turned director said, "The whole message of the film was to include and welcome the differently-able children into their fold. All they needed was some special classes."

Nandita Das also felt that exclusion of disabled people was a disability within the society and it was time to address the problem. She added, "This film festival was a novel medium to do so."

In the festival's inaugural session, the Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Meira Kumar, and the Chief Commissioner of Disabilities, Uma Tuli discussed the issue of mainstreaming disability concerns, both in society and at the school/college level through inclusive education.

Other films that were screened during the function included a five-minute film by Pervez Imam titled 'Kinara' and a six-minute film 'The Joy of Giving' by Action Aid India Society. The festival, supported by National Thermal Power Corporation and Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation is showcasing 36 films over two weeks at six venues across the city.

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