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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Yes they can!

Soumya Vajpayee, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 09, 2013
First Published: 12:07 IST(9/2/2013) | Last Updated: 20:16 IST(9/2/2013)

If you love watching dance performances, here’s your chance to witness an act with a difference. Organised by an NGO, Utthan Prayash Foundation, the charity event titled Enable India will feature differently-abled persons showcasing their dance skills on stage. The performance line-up will feature ‘dance on hands’ by Kamlesh Patel, ‘magic on wheels’ by Helpers of the Handicapped, ‘rope mallakhamb’ (exercises while hanging from a rope) by blind students of Smt Kamla Mehta School for the Blind and a dance performance by students of Able Disable All People Together (ADAPT).

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Talking about his passion for dance, Patel says, “I was always passionate about dancing but just did not know how to go about it, considering I had no legs. Whenever I saw people dancing on TV, I always wished I had legs too. One day I tried dancing by putting my legs on my shoulders and holding the body with my hands on ground. I started dancing with my hands and I realised that we’re differently-abled and not disabled, because we do things differently.” Another performer from ADAPT, Delnavaz Sabuwallah says, “I love dancing to Bollywood music and can express myself very well through dance. I hope people will accept my act on stage.”

Twenty-two-year-old Habiba Sheikh, a student of Smt. Kamla Mehta School for Blind, says, “I was always interested in learning rope mallakhamb. Initially it was very difficult since I’m blind but due to my conviction, I can do it with perfection now. I want to promote this exercise form in the country.”

This year marks the second edition of Enable India. “With this programme, we wish to change the way people perceive differently-abled people in the fields of art and culture,” says Tulsi Das, president, Utthan Prayash Foundation.


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