Hon’ble Justice Mr Arijit Pasayat while delivering his speech during the closing ceremony of SAMBHAV 2019, the three day international event for artists with disabilities from four continents in the national capital said, SAMBHAV is like a MAHA KUMBH MELA for the Divyang Artists which has been organized every year by the Delhi based NGO, Association for Learning Performing Arts and Normative Action (A.L.P.A.N.A.) since 2006. He added “After witnessing the mind-blowing extraordinary performances of disabled artists from 14 countries of the world, I am speechless. I think these Divyang artists do not need any sympathy, rather they need better opportunities so that they can scale the greater heights and Sky is the limit for them.”
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. Over the years, SAMBHAV has grown manifold and expanded its ambit to project India as not only incredible but also inclusive.
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 especially 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 disabilities. 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.
The fourteenth edition of SAMBHAV held on 15, 16 and 17 November 2019 at India International Centre, Lodi Estate, New Delhi attracted 17 groups from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, USA, Uzbekistan and Vietnam besides 13 groups from Indian States of Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, and West Bengal.
SAMBHAV 2019 was launched in a colourful show on 15 November with all participants wearing their national dress and carrying their country’s flag. The flag off was done by Hon’ble Shri Prestone Tynsong, Dy Chief Minister of Meghalaya. In his inaugural address Shri Prestone Tynsong congratulated A.L.P.A.N.A for organizing such a grand event, SAMBHAV for fourteen consecutive years and admired the dedication of the artiste, professionals, trainers, parents and other practitioners. He invited A.L.P.A.N.A. to organize similar event in Meghalaya and promised support and help in organizing the event.
SAMBHAV 2019 included International Seminar on “Sharing of Best Practices in Empowerment of Divyangjan”; International Seminar on “Yoga: A therapy for different disabilities” ; Forum for International Cooperation; International Art & Craft Exhibition of paintings, sculptures and artefacts made by Divyang artists; Art & Craft Workshops for all the participants; International Workshops on Dance Therapy and Music Therapy; International Event of Performances by artists with disabilities from different countries and from different parts of India; Exposure visits to Heritage Sites and Interaction visits to different Schools of NCR.
At SAMBHAV 2019 experts and resource persons from Bangladesh, U.S. A., Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Australia, Nepal, Russia, Iran, Ujjain- India, All India Institute of Medical Scinces – Delhi and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare emphasized the need of approaching disability issues before child birth through a variety of interventions which involve the wider society. In the Seminar on Yoga, Prof Rima Dada form AIIMS, New Delhi and Dr Hema Kohle, MD, (Ayurveda) presented papers based on their research themes highlighting the positive effects of Yoga to tackle different issues related to disabilities.
The international performances at SAMBHAV 2019 had Odissi dance and percussion band by the special students of ‘A.L.P.A.N.A.’; songs by Salubrious Productions, Australia; traditional dances by Vietnam Youth Theatre and DP Hanoi; dances by Behala Bodhayan Kolkata, acrobatics by The New Light Social Services Society, MP; theme based dance by visually impaired girls from Odisha; dance by Udan Special School, MP; song and percussion playing by Tajikistan; traditional dances by Mother Charitable Foundation of Sri Lanka; songs and Arabic dances by All Russia Blind Association; keyboard recital by Tehran troupe and folk dances by Myanmar troupe. The Multi-Country Troupe titled Mirage, led by Australian visually challenged singer Janelle stole the hearts of audience with their rendition. Teams from Bhutan and Nagaland enthralled the audience with their songs and Dances. SWID Bangladesh team drew thunderous applause on their thematic folk dances.
The prominent guests of the evenings were Dr. Dhan Singh Rawat, Hon’ble Minister for Higher Education and Cooperative, Govt. of Uttarakhand, Shri Balbir Punj, Former Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Mr. Justice Arijit Pasayat, Former Hon’ble Judge of Supreme Court of India, Padma Shri Prof Y. K. Chawla, Former Director of PGIMER, Chandigarh, HE Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Secretary General of AARDO, Mr. Vishvapavan Pati, Member of Postal Service Board of India, Mr. Chhabilendra Roul, Secretary,Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt. of India, HE Mr. Austin Fernando, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Mr. Tomio Schichiri, Country Director, FAO, India Country Office.
The Divyang participants in SAMBHAV 2019 were also 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 also organized for Divyang artists participating in SAMBHAV 2019 to highlight the fact that Incredible India is also Inclusive India.