Children's Day (Bal Divas) is celebrated on 14 November each year to mark the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru the first Prime Minister of India who loved the company of children. This day intends to increase awareness about children's' right to education, health and care. This year, for the first time in India, children's day was celebrated in the spirit of inclusion for all children. The Organization for Rare Diseases India (ORDI, Bangalore) in association with the Dystrophy Annihilation Trust (DART) and Tamahar Trust for children with special needs celebrated "Rare Children's Day 2015" with fun, games and lots of action.
Rare Children's Day is an inclusive concept meant to include and celebrate differences. Children with rare diseases and disabilities are often excluded from a number of life activities and often miss out on fun and games. Most schools celebrate children's day with fun activities for children. But what about children with special needs or those who home-school or go to special schools? There is no reason to exclude these rare children from celebrating children's day. This is exactly what ORDI, DART and Tamahar decided to do in holding the first Rare Children's Day 2015 in Bangalore.
The event was entertaining and awe-inspiring as Sarthak, a young man with DMD who is currently pursuing III year MBBS filled the audience with positivity, cheer and inspiration as he shared his story and bigger goals for life. It was clear that nothing is impossible to achieve if one has intentions and puts in efforts. A touch of art and craft filled the room as Jose from Tamahar shared fun art ideas with banana leaves. Eco-friendly watches and crowns and even goggles were fashioned perfectly using slender, green banana leaves. Children experimented with different styles folding the banana leaves in unique ways.
The highlight of the day added excitement among the audience as DARTian Karandeep and band performed a musical piece completed with guitar and instruments. Music, joy and palpable cheer filled the room as some children joined in a light jig and dance moves. The audience was enthralled by the band and their performance as their moods soared with happiness. The event concluded with a lunch as everybody went home light-hearted and happy to have been a part of an inclusive event that celebrated human diversity. Rare Children's Day has a clear message that every human has a right to enjoy life and join in its celebrations.
India's rare disease population is nearly 7 crores of which 30-40 lakh is in Karnataka. By advocating diversity and inclusion, organizations like ORDI, DART and Tamahar are showing the way forward to include people with rare diseases and disabilities in the public sphere.
References : 1. http://ordindia.org/