Mr Vijay Sampla, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment while addressing the SAMBHAV 2017 audience at Azad Bhavan on 11 November 2017 said Divyang persons have won gold medals for India in Olympics many more times than others. The fact that Divyang persons are more able than others has been proved year after year by the Delhi based NGO, Association for Learning Performing Arts and Normative Action (A.L.P.A.N.A.), since 2006 when SAMBHAV was launched as a platform for showcasing the artistic talents of Divyang persons.
SAMBHAV has become a platform for learning across cultures and territories, not only within India but also across the world. It has created a space of creativity for each other. SAMBHAV 2017 has expanded its ambit to project India as an inclusive country which is not only incredible. In his message, Hon’ble Prime Minister has appreciated SAMBHAV 2017 for “providing the platform to our Divyang sisters and brothers to showcase their talents.”
The twelfth edition of SAMBHAV, supported by Government of India Ministries of Tourism, Social Justice & Empowerment, Culture, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) etc., attracted groups from FOUR CONTINENTS that included Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UK, Uzbekistan and Vietnam besides groups from Indian States of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan and Telengana. SAMBHAV 2017 was held 10, 11 and 12 November 2017 at AZAD BHAVAN, ICCR, IP ESTATE, New Delhi.
SAMBHAV 2017 was launched in a colourful show on 10 November with all participants wearing their national dress and carrying her country’s flag, at Azad Bhavan New Delhi. The flag off was done by HE Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, IFS, the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and Director General of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. 29 disabled artists groups numbering about 200 took part. In her inaugural address Ambassador Ganguly Das said that ICCR supported inclusive arts and promotion of disabled artists come to the world stage. Support to SAMBHAV by ICCR is an effort in that direction.
SAMBHAV which means “possible” was conceived and started in 2006 by A.L.P.A.N.A. to help promote inclusive arts within the context of inclusive growth. SAMBHAV showcases artistic empowerment of specially talented persons.
The objectives of SAMBHAV are to promote inclusive growth and be a catalyst in fulfilling commitments of the global society towards persons with disability, to showcase inclusiveness of Indian society, to empower challenged persons, particularly artists, through development of skills and enhancement of creativity in various fields of arts and to work towards sharing of ideas, knowledge, achievements and experiences through sustainable interactions among different stake holders.
A.L.P.A.N.A. is an all-India operations registered NGO with the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Within a short span of its coming into being, A.L.P.A.N.A. has made significant contributions to its espoused cause of promoting Indian heritage including performing arts and crafts, with an inclusive and holistic view of society. For this very reason, A.L.P.A.N.A. provides teaching in these art forms in classes that comprise of able-bodied persons, low-income background persons, as well as persons with a range of different abilities. The NGO has also pledged to work on many socially relevant issues through research and analysis, documentation, dissemination, building human and intellectual capital and advising on matters of public policy formulation. The NGO has also integrated and highlighted yoga as an input in the classical dance lessons for Divyang and other persons.
SAMBHAV 2017 had International seminars on artistic empowerment of disabled persons, an exhibition of art and craft by the artists with disabilities from participating countries, signing of Memorandum of Understanding for mutual collaboration, International Yoga workshop, International Art & Craft Workshop, Workshop on Dance Therapy and Music Therapy and international performances by twenty nine troupe at Azad Bhavan, New Delhi.
SAMBHAV 2017 was inaugurated in the morning Welcome Event by HE Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, IFS, the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and Director General of the ICCR. The Distinguished Guest invited to the event was Mrs. Aindri Anurag, IPoS,Joint Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
The International Art and Craft Exhibition was inaugurated by Shri Navneet Soni, IRS, Member Secretary of National Monuments Authority, Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Exhibits were displayed by Divyang artists from Bhutan, Uzbekistan, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and India.
An International Art and Craft Workshop was held. All the participants participated in the workshop and it was a tribute to learning from each other, across the cultures towards an inclusive global society. The Divyang artists from Uzbekistan conducted a special workshop on making art objects from straw.
The inaugural event on the first evening started with a short film on the journey of SAMBHAV. Cultural programme started with a fabulous performance by the special students of ‘A.L.P.A.N.A.’ who presented Ganesha Vandana in Odissi style. Other groups who performed were NIVH – Dehradun (India), Kenya, THPI- Hydrabad(India), JPUF – Bangladesh, Sristi K C – Nepal, Cherry Blossom Society - Kohima(India), Vietnam, Supun Dance Academy – Sri Lanka, KDSS – Bhopal (India). Witnessing performances and artistic talent of the Divyang artists, the able bodied too would bow down. The performances by the specially gifted persons at the inaugural event of International Performances of ‘SAMBHAV 2017’ at New Delhi were like a picture of perfection.
At the inaugural event of International Performances on the first evening Shri Brij Raj Sharma, IAS, Additional Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs & Former Chief Secretary, J&K was the Chief Guest. The Distinguished Guests were H.E. Mrs Chitraganee Wagiswara, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India and Shri Mukund L. Srivastav, IFtS, Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Culture. After watching the fabulous performances, all the dignitaries concluded that persons who are physically or mentally challenged have different and special talents in them. If their potential is rightly identified, tapped and channeled they too are capable of doing and producing results like other people. All the groups performed so well that it was impossible to tell from their synchronization and rhythm in group and solo, on traditional dance, folk and group performances that they were mentally or physically challenged. It proved that they had special ability!
On the second day, in the morning there was International Yoga Workshop which was inaugurated by Dr Ishwar V Basavaraddi, Director, Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, Govt of India and then yoga workshop was conducted by Prof. Dr. R. M. Acharya, from S-VYASA University, Bengaluru. The workshop was held on 11 and 12 November.
After Yoga Workshop inauguration, there were sessions of International Seminars on “Challenges of working with Divayang Persons (Physically and Mentally challenged persons) for inclusive growth with special focus on inclusive arts: shared experiences” spread over two days and coordinated by Seminar Chair, Dr. N.K. Dhamija, MBBS, MD, Joint Secretary and Deputy Commissioner in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
The Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker for the Inauguration of Seminar was Dr. Prabodh Seth, IRS, Joint Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi N., Expert Psychologist presided over the inaugural session of international seminar. In different sessions of the seminar, presentations were done by resource persons from Australia, Bangladesh, India (three groups), South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Mauritius and Vietnam. The Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker for the Valediction of Seminar was Mr. Pradeep Kapur, IPS, Director, CIRA, Government of India.
SAMBHAV 2017 had a Forum on International Cooperation, where Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were signed between A.L.P.A.N.A Society and organizations from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mauritius, Russia, and Thailand in presence of the Chief Guest of the Forum event, Dr. K Rajeshwar Rao, IAS, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Government of India. These organisations have been working for inclusive growth of Divyang (mentally and physically challenged persons) through performing arts. The objective of the MoU was to share the experience in the field for mutual benefit and to provide such platforms in the countries of the signatories to stage similar participative efforts.
On the second day of International Performances, the invited Chief Guest was Mrs. Shakuntala Gamlin, IAS,Secretary Designate, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India and Former Chief Secretary Arunachal Pradesh. The invited Distinguished Guests were Mrs. Sujata Prasad, ICAS, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India; H.E. Ambassador Sanjay Verma, IFS, Additional Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs and Mr N. K. Verma, Managing Director, ONGC Videsh. The specially gifted students of A.L.P.A.N.A. Institute presented a band. Other groups who performed were The All-Russian Association of the Blind -Russia, K. Manasa - Hyderabad (India), Yangon Education Centre for the Blind- Myanmar, Smt. M. K. Mehta School for the Visually Impaired – Gujarat(India), Uzbekistan, Cotagala Special School- Sri Lanka, MPVSS – Ujjain (India). At last students of A.L.P.A.N.A. performed a Rajasthanti folk dance and mesmerized the audience with their spectacular performances.
On the first day 10th November, Workshop on Classical Dance Therapy were held. It were conducted by Supun Dance Academy, Sri Lanka and A.L.P.A.N.A. On third day 12 November, Workshop on Music & Rhythm Therapy was held. It was conducted by Salubrious Productions, Australia.
For the closing ceremony of International Performances on the third day, the Chief Guest was Justice Dr. Arijit Pasayat, Former Hon’ble Judge, Supreme Court and Former Chief Justice, Odisha and Delhi High Courts. The Distinguished Guests were Prof. Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Inst of Medical Sciences; Mrs. Meenakshi Sharma, IA&AS, Addl Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Mr. Sunil Chaturvedi, CMD, Tractors India; and Mr. C. R. Garg, DANICS, Special Secretary, CMO, Delhi. Artists from A.L.P.A.N.A. (India), Salubrious Productions- Australia, PAMENCAP - Telengana (India), DPAB – Bhutan, Pathum Uyana – Sri Lanka, PRAYAS Centre for Special Education & Vocational Training – Jaipur (India), Surabaya University of Indonesia- Indonesia, Disability Magister Program-Indonesia performed and KDSS – Bhopal (India) so well and with so much energy and perfect coordination that it was hard to believe that they were Divyangjan.
“I have never seen such talent and vigor in artistic performances by Divyang artists who are from four continents. SAMBHAV 2017 is a unique platform globally and India should take it to higher and higher levels,” said Justice Dr. Arijit Pasayat, the Chief Guest while addressing the audience at the close of SAMBHAV. He congratulated A.L.P.A.N.A for organizing the grand event, SAMBHAV for last twelve years.
The Divyang participants in SAMBHAV 2017 were taken on Exposure Visits to Schools in NCR where interaction with school students on inclusive and composite culture of India was highlighted. Exposure Visits to World Heritage Sites was organized for Divyang artists participating in SAMBHAV 2017 to highlight the fact that Incredible India is also Inclusive India.