THE EMOTIONS of the physically disabled children presenting a cultural programme at the Lucknow Mahotsava was badly hurt when their performance was sought to be stopped abruptly by the organizers on Sunday, which was observed the world over as Disabled Day. The programme was held under the aegis of Search Foundation.
A band, consisting of special children — deaf, dumb, blind, mentally retarded and spastic — was forced to hasten up as the time for the performance of other scheduled artistes was nearing..
As the children were trained to perform in a special way —only by gestures and on the beat of music, which was forcibly stopped by the authorities – it was very painful to see the children, who as trained went by the time, still dancing on the stage.
Also, the organisers of the next programme barged on to the stage when the children were still performing, making a mockery of the event and significance of the day.
Sarvesh Asthana, founder of Search Foundation, said he felt simply hurt by the behavior of the authorities. “These children should have been given a chance to perform freely. We had to go on the stage and pull them down, as they were not able to hear or see. Probably the authorities were not aware of the importance of the day. And even if they were not aware, they could have acted in a more humane manner and let the kids perform,” he said.
The organizers on their part said, “We work so much under pressure. Owing to the swelling crowd and the list of performers, we had to hurry up. Of course, we were not aware that it was World disabled Day. No body, not even from Search Foundation, informed us about the Day and its importance.”