Volume 2 Issue 24 - December 15, 2004

Let's Walk to Freedom!

DNIS News Network - Over 10,000 people from across India come to India Gate to celebrate World Disability Day.

Picture of the group starting on the 'Walk to Freedom' at India Gate, Delhi.

Excitement, colour, smiles and nearly 10,000 people – the ‘Walk to Freedom’ on World Disability Day (WDD), on December 3, generated a tremendous response. Disabled and non-disabled people from all parts of the country thronged Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate, presenting a vibrant picture of solidarity.

This year, the theme of WDD was ‘Inclusion’, which was expressed through the medium of arts and culture. It highlighted the importance of providing disabled people the opportunities to utilise their creative, artistic and intellectual potential. A series of performances were organised – bringing together adult as well as child artistes from various walks of life.

The programme highlights were a vocal performance by Shubha Mudgal, a play by Barry John’s Imago, a play by Sahara, a song by Swavalamban, a mime show by the Deaf Way, a song by AADI, a folk dance by Leprosy Mission and the Walk to Freedom. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas was the Chief Guest and Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of NCT of Delhi, presided over the function.

Picture of some of the 10,000 people who had come.

The event was organised by NCPEDP in association with the Government of NCT of Delhi, Disabled People’s International-India, Disabled Rights Group and Poorest Areas Civil Society Programme. It was supported by Action for Ability Development and Inclusion (AADI), Deepalaya, Development Corporation Ireland, Hemophilia Federation, Handicap International, Imago, Pravah, Sabala, Swavalamban, The Deaf Way, The Leprosy Mission and Voluntary Services Overseas.

(For details of NCPEDP's World Disability Day celebrations, see feature 'Celebrating art and ability'.)

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