Sammohan is more than a national festival for the differently abled; it includes comprehensive events aimed at bringing the differently abled into the social mainstream, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.
He was speaking after inaugurating the two-day arts festival for the differently abled at the Different Art Centre on the KINFRA Film and Video Park campus at Kazhakuttam on Saturday.
The Chief Minister said the fete was not limited to cultural programmes alone. Awareness classes on various projects of the Union and the State government, seminars on caring for the differently abled, and exhibitions were part Sammohan.
Nine national institutes under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment were also taking part in the festival, supported by the Union Ministry and the State’s Social Justice department.
The Different Art Centre was an apt venue for the festival, as the Centre worked along with the government to transform Kerala into a disabled-friendly State, he said.
In a related Facebook post, Mr. Vijayan said Sammohan would provide strength to differently abled children’s journey from a world of constraints to that of special abilities.
Besides a platform for cultural presentation and appreciation, the festival would also help provide lessons on overcoming odds and becoming self-confident, he said.
More than 1,700 children with special needs and their caregivers from nearly 12 States are coming together at the festival, aimed at raising awareness of rights of persons with disabilities and recognising their talents and skills.
Differently abled artistes from Odisha, Karnataka, and Gujarat will present wheelchair dance, Odishi group dance, Gujarati dances, including dandiya.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan will inaugurate the valedictory of the festival at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who is a patron of the Different Art Centre, will deliver the presidential address. Thomas Chazhikadan, Parliamentary Committee member of Social Justice and Empowerment, will be the guest of honour. Former Health Minister K.K. Shylaja will deliver the keynote address.