Bhubaneswar : Today marks the commencement of the 22nd Anjali Children and Youth Festival organized by Swabhiman, a pioneering non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for individuals with disabilities in Odisha and across India.
Held at the Kala Bhoomi Odisha Craft Museum in Bhubaneswar, the festival kicked off with a heart-warming welcome for disabled students from various schools across different states of India, emphasizing Swabhiman’s commitment to inclusivity and equal opportunities for all. The opening events included an enriching study tour to the Regional Science Centre, setting the tone for an educational and fun-filled experience. The students were taken for a trip to the regional science centre and in the afternoon students from different schools in Bhubaneswar participated in various competition and workshops.
The highlight of the day will be the inauguration ceremony scheduled for 5.00P.M., graced by esteemed guests who have made significant contributions to the cause of inclusivity and empowerment.
The guests for inauguration ceremony which to be held at evening are Kriya guru, Swami Sudhananda Giri, Odisha State disability commissioner Smt. Bratati Harichandan. Ollywood Actress Archita Sahu. Priyadarshi Mohapatra, founder of Curebay and member of Governing body member of Swabhiman and Padma Mohanty, Deputy Inspector general of Forests Eastern India.
The guests start the event by lighting the lamp. During the inauguration ceremony, the winners of the collage competitions
were given prizes by the guests followed by the cultural programmes performed by the children with disabilities from the different districts of Odisha.
Anjali is India’s first and only International Children and Youth Festival, is a beacon of Swabhiman’s mission to bridge societal gaps and create a more inclusive India. It stands as the nation’s sole national festival for children and youth, embodying the principles of joyful learning and equal participation.
Dr. Sruti Mohapatra, founder of Swabhiman, embarked on the disability movement in 1996, driven by a passion for transforming the quality of life for persons with disabilities in India. Recognizing the stark disparities, especially for children, she envisioned a brighter future through Anjali. The festival serves as a model for joyful learning, breaking barriers and fostering a society where every individual is recognized for their humanity.
Established in 2001, Swabhiman has been a catalyst for change, influencing policy shifts and contributing to the development of rights-based disability laws. The organization’s commitment to a human rights-based approach underscores the importance of equal participation in all facets of society.