Shimla: It was a moment of great pleasure for the unsung special champs when they were honoured in an impressive function organised by the Himachal Pradesh Chapter of Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies (SDRS) on December 2, 2007 to mark the eve of World Disability Day at YMCA auditorium, Shimla.
Manisha Nanda honouring a visually impaired athlete
The real VIPs were ten mentally retarded, twenty visually disabled and thirty hearing disabled children who had made special achievements in different fields. They were given citations, cash rewards and woollen sweaters by the chief guest Manisha Nanda, Chief Electoral Officer of the state and B M Nanta, Director Elementary Education and Mission Director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, who presided over the function.
The blind and mentally retarded kids made everybody dance by their song and dance performances and the kids with hearing disability presented a wonderful skit. The function, first of its kind in the state on world disability day, was supported by YMCA, Shimla.
In her address, Manisha Nanda said that instead of sympathies, our efforts for the right of equality can work wonders for the disabled. She said, “Braille signs in electronic voting machines were being used in the assembly elections in Gujarat this year. In Himachal Pradesh, the blind would be able to cast their vote by using Braille signs on EVM in the next Lok Sabha and assembly elections of 2013.” She appreciated the work of SDRS in empowering the disabled in the hill state. B M Nanta gave details of the work being done by SSA for the schooling of the disabled children in Himachal Pradesh. On this occasion, Naresh Scott, Secretary General of YMCA, assured to give his full support to SDRS in strengthening the disability rights movement in the state.
Visually impaired children presenting a group song
Ajai Srivastava, Chairman, H.P Chapter of Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, said that his organisation was now determined to strengthen the disability rights movement in the state which was started by SDRS a year ago. He regretted that the bureaucracy was creating hurdles before the disabled in getting justice. The governor and the political government were being misguided by the bureaucrats sitting in the department of social justice and empowerment. He stated that his organization was making all efforts to include the issues of the disabled in the election manifesto of political parties so that the political-will could be created.
The kids honoured on the function included the blind athletes who won 11 gold, seven silver and one bronze medals for the state in the 4th National Athletics Championship recently. Thirty deaf children were honoured for their achievements in adventure sports. Bharti Kuthiala and Yashwant Rai, Vice Presidents and Dalel Thakur, General Secretary of SDRS, also spoke in the function. Several eminent personalities of social field were present in the programme.