We celebrated 10 years of EnAble India on SUNDAY, Dec 20, 2009. When we decided to celebrate this event, we knew what we did not want: speeches eulogizing EnAble India, podium with dignitaries. We wanted: equality for all, inclusion for all, participation from all.
So here are the TOP ten reasons why I think the EnAble India Day rocked
– Every person, the candidates with disability, volunteers, staff and companies were the chief guest. The theme was the celebration of the human spirit and wow! It definitely was!
– The whole event was planned, organized and executed by staff, volunteers and our candidates. It was difficult to make out who had organized the event. Better still, the founder (moi, myself) was not involved in any aspect of the planning of the event (hmmm.. tells you the real ingredients required for success!)
– Everybody participated in the inclusive games/sports. It was difficult to stop the heats and move on to the finals in the blindfold game or the obstacle wheelchair game or the musical run-around!
– The inclusion for ALL was amazing – everything spoken in English was repeated in Kannada as well as sign language. Every visual aspect of the game and skits/drama were spoken or dramatized “in style” for the visually impaired. Audio aspects like indicating the “start of music in the musical run-around” was done using a light bulb.
– The entertainment program was inspiring – the talent by every visually impaired, hearing impaired, physically disabled and other participants (volunteers) was simply amazing. The EI dance saw EI staff participate with volunteers and candidates where there was a mix of visually impaired, low vision, hard of hearing, hearing impaired, physically disabled folks in the same dance!
– The impromptu dancing especially towards the end when the floor was open to all. Visually impaired, hearing impaired, physically disabled, the shy folks, managing trustee, trustee, staff – everybody danced!
– The high voltage levels of everybody from 10 am till (can you believe it) 8 pm! The whistles, encouragement, madness all around!
– The knowledge sharing where candidates gave us invaluable inputs on what has been good so far and how we can improve. The genuine pride that candidates felt for EnAble India was touching.
– The pride and emotions just under the surface – for the potential that each of the participants displayed, for the genuine emotions that people had towards EnAble India
– For me – it was most memorable because I saw freedom on people’s faces. Free of inhibitions, people were just themselves – pure and natural!
– Shanti Raghavan, Founder, Managing Trustee, EnAble India | Ashoka Fellow