It is rightly said that, “Children with disabilities are like butterflies with a broken wing. They are just as beautiful as all others, but they need help to spread their wings.” United Religions Initiative - North Zone (India and Afghanistan) tried to do exactly that, this UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, by organising an event which left every child with a smile.
Children with disabilities are like butterflies with a broken wing. They are just as beautiful as all others, but they need help to spread their wings.
As the clock struck 11 and the auditorium of the India Islamic Cultural Centre filled with the innocence of 350 children, ‘Udaan - A Flight Towards a New Dawn’ came to life. ‘Udaan’ was the event organised by URI which aimed at cultivating the ideas of ‘inclusivity’, ‘co-operation’ and ‘peaceful-coexistence’. They invited children from all backgrounds; under-privileged, differently-abled, orphaned, HIV-affected; to step out of their ordinary lives and join them for an extraordinary time spaced with dance, music, puppets and beatboxing.
As every child was lead to a seat, Hayat Amiree, The Community Service Provider and Social Media and Communications Representative from Afghanistan, took rounds around the hall, filling every child’s mind with stories and pulling out their confidence with well-placed jokes and his absolutely charming personality. The children whispered his praises, and loud laughter and giggles filled the air in every corner he passed.
The show kicked off with a wonderful performance by the children of ‘Salwan Public School’ who sang two melodious songs, taking everyone’s breath away. A more responsive audience is yet to be found. Eighteen organisations that work to better the lives of the children who are always discriminated against, were present at the event, while a few, including, ‘Sidhart International School’, ‘Society for the Welfare of the Handicapped’ and ‘Music Basti’ also performed for the other children and chief guests. They all had one message to spread, the message of harmonious living.
They all had one message to spread, the message of harmonious living.
Subhi Dhupar, the URI Regional Coordinator, had a conversation with the audience about harmony week, peace building and spreading love. The conversation was well received. Mr. Augustine Veliath, the founder director of the ‘Asian Centre for Entertainment Education’, Dr. A.K Merchant, the national trustee of ‘the lotus temple & Baha’I community of India’, and the general secretary of ‘the temple of Understanding, India foundation’, Mr. Farid Ahmed Nizami the secretary general of the Sufi Cultural Organization and Dr. Indu Prakash Singh, the facilitator of ‘CityMakers Mission International’ and the president of ‘Forum Against Corruption and Threats’, all joined the children and URI in making the day a special one by lighting the lamp of faith and harmony. They came to show their support for peace, compassion and the children.
The Ventriloquist, Anil Singh, who never failed to bring out the giggles with his ‘in-your-face’ jokes and ridiculous puppet friends with their high-pitched voices, sent a powerful message about anti-bullying, anti-discrimination and accepting everyone in society. While, the students of St. Kabir’s School, Hissar, travelled all the way to put on a theatrical act on environment, their confidence echoing around the auditorium.
The energy in the stadium took to new heights, and every foot was tapping to the beat.
It was heart-warming to see how ‘Insipiration’, a group of autistic children grooved to the beats of ‘Radha tera jhumka’ with such confidence and zest, inspiring everyone around. The energy in the stadium took to new heights, and every foot was tapping to the beat.
Music Basti took over our senses using innovative sounds to colour their songs and Ishan Nangia, the first ever beatboxer to represent our country internationally, along with Tanmay lit the stage on fire with BOOTS AND CATS…. well, not literally. The beat-boxing was something none of the children had ever experienced before, and were awestruck by the sounds coming from these guys mouths.
The show was a success, Udaan took flight as children did not want to leave their seats. Smiles and amazement were riding like waves as they collected their little snack box and made for home, leaving the organisers behind with inspiration to do this, time and time again, forever for the most beautiful children in our world.
Event Partners Included:
- Uniting Hearts
- U Day 3.
- Women's Regional Network
- St. Kabir Residential and Day School
- Siddhart International School
See more information about this event on the regional Facebook page.