Bhubaneswar: Preparations are on in full swing for the annual Anjali Children’s Festival being organised on the occasion of Children’s Day in the city. Hosted by Swabhiman, the State Disability Information and Resource Centre, differently-abled and mainstream children from across the country will participate in the festival.
During the four days, 350 participants and volunteers will reside together and participate in activities at the Rail Auditorium. The participating teams include one international team from Bangladesh and 11 teams from India.
Around 11 workshops will be hosted for the children apart from panel discussions on Accessibility and Universal Designs in the Smart City, Bhubaneswar; Disability in Literature and Disability in Visual Arts and Design.
A number of actors, social activists, sportspersons and administrators have been invited to interact with the children during the festival to add more gloss to the event.
Every year, the camp begins with a carnival. This year, it will be flagged off by IG Soumendra Priyadarshi and ex MP and Ollywood actor Siddhant Mohapatra. The children taking part in the event will march from Sainik School to Rail Auditorium to spread the message of love and an inclusive world for all. The valedictory programme will be graced by Governor of Odisha, Ganeshi Lal.
A clowning show by Pravin Tulpule from Mumbai and a shadow art show by Prahalad Acharya from Karnataka are other highlights of the event.
The festival began in 2001 with an attempt to provide a platform to the differently-abled children to showcase their talent and skills. Since its inception, it has reached out to around 30,000 children.
“We have been at the forefront of several policy changes that have positively impacted the lives of persons with disabilities. We specifically focus on supporting education, strengthening youth for availing employment opportunities, increasing public awareness on the issue of disability, working towards accessible cities and conducting research for enabling advocacy. Anjali is one such attempt to a world where there is equal opportunity for children from all sections of the society,” said Dr. Sruti Mohapatra, founder of Swabhiman.