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Indian NGO helps disabled children move into the mainstream

DNIS News Network - A voluntary organisation brings physically and mentally disabled children together with their non-disabled counterparts for a five-day talent show.

Over 1,000 physically and mentally disabled children found love and acceptance at a special camp in Bhubaneswar. A voluntary organisation brought them together with their non-disabled counterparts for a five-day talent extravaganza.

The event has children from across nine Indian provinces participating in the workshops ranging from development of artistic skills, music, dance and drama to interactive sessions with all the children.

Recent studies indicate that barely half of disabled children reach adulthood and no more than 20 per cent survive to cross the fourth decade of life. Most remain isolated in what psychologists describe as “non-existence."

Organisers said the project, 'Anjali', their latest endeavour, aims to change all that.

“The reason we started it in 2001 was to showcase the potential of disabled children to society. Every child irrespective of his disability is a storehouse of genius and has to be harnessed properly. After being so successful in our endeavour, we decided not to limit ourselves to disabled children only. Why not become broad-based and open the doors of the camps to all children? So now we say – Integration and Inclusion – say yes to all children,” said Sruti Mohapatra, a disability activist.

“There are many mentally disabled children participating in the camp. They have proved that we are no less than anyone else,” added Pushpa Desai, a participant.