Divya Kala Shakti: A Cultural extravaganza showing “ability in disability”
President of India Ram Nath Kovind witnessed extraordinary performances by the divyang children (children with disability) at the cultural event “Divya Kala Shakti—Witnessing Ability in Disability,” organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, at GMC Balayogi Auditorium, Parliament Library Building on July 23, 2019. Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla were the guests of honour, while Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot, Members of Parliament from Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha and the Secretaries to many Central Ministries/Departments also attended. In March 2019, the DEPwD had received a request from the President’s Secretariat to conduct a cultural programme for divyang children in the premises of Rashtrapati Bhawan on April 18, 2019 with an aim to further create awareness regarding the tremendous potential that is waiting to be harnessed. Some 175 artistes who performed were from different states, cultural organizations, institutions and civil society organizations. The President’s Secretariat had made necessary arrangements for making the stage and venue accessible for persons with disabilities.
The cultural event began on April 18, 2019, in the presence of the President of India. The event was then witnessed by about 300 dignitaries including Ambassadors, High Commissioners, senior government officials, creative personalities, educators, principals and disability advocacy groups. The programme was anchored by three youths with visual impairments disabilities; and the performances were only by children and youth with disabilities ranging from physical, visual, hearing, intellectual and autism to multiple disabilities.