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Differently-abled performers leave Delhiites awestruck

Differently-abled performers leave Delhiites awestruck

Commemorating this year's spinal cord injury (SCI) day, differently-abled artists and athletes, delivered a series of spellbinding performance at the packed Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium, recently.

The event, organised by the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) in association with Spinal Cord Society, was attended by Chief Guest Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot. Major H P S Ahluwalia, Chairman, ISIC and Dr H S Chhabra, President, International Spinal Cord Society as well as Association of Spine Surgeons of India and Medical Director and Chief of Spine Services, ISIC also marked their presence. 60 able bodied competed with 40 wheelchair users in an inclusive wheelchair race on the tracks of Thyagaraj Stadium.

The program awarded winners of a poster competition held in 40 schools and colleges across India. Various organisations and achievers who have worked in the field of Spinal cord injury were felicitated during the event. Lifetime achievement awards were also given to 6 professionals of international acclaim.

The inclusive cultural program involving both differently-abled and able-bodied persons is aimed at facilitating an inclusive life for persons with disabilities and ensures greater success of prevention programs.

"Year after year, ISIC has been able to bring to the fore the amazing qualities that otherwise lie latent or die a silent death. Disability bears a stigma till date in our society and there is a need to sensitise people about the importance of what right opportunities can mean even for those who do not have a fully functional body. We are glad to become the platform to showcase the talent differently-abled people have," said Major H P S Ahluwalia, Chairman, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.

"The disability these people suffer is purely physical and it is our constant effort to try and create a conducive environment for such people. However, today I am overwhelmed to see them rise above their so-called limitations, determined to prove themselves as equal, which they are. But we need to think beyond what we see, accept them as one among us and ensure that steps are taken to ease life without hurting their self-esteem. On part of the government, I can tell you that through Accessible India Campaign or Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan and various other schemes we are trying to bring change in current amenities and a shift in the social attitude. I am very happy to become a part of the fantastic effort endeavored by ISIC," said Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot.

"Spinal cord injury can become a lifelong burden with a distinctive physical and economic impact. Most of them find it difficult to lead a normal life because the facilities around are meant for able-bodied people. Today's event brings together spinal injured with able bodied people only to highlight that the capabilities of people with disability are no less vis-à-vis 'normal' people" said Dr H S Chhabra, President, International Spinal Cord Society and Association of Spine Surgeons of India and Medical Director and Chief of Spine Services, ISIC, New Delhi.

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