Wheels of change | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Wheels of change

Think of Artie Abrams, the fictional character from the TV show Glee. The boy can sing and dance, and has a hell of a stage presence, even though he does it all on a wheelchair. Now, imagine a dozen such talented performers...

mumbai Updated: Jun 03, 2013 14:14 IST
Amrutha Penumudi

Think of Artie Abrams, the fictional character from the TV show Glee. The boy can sing and dance, and has a hell of a stage presence, even though he does it all on a wheelchair. Now, imagine a dozen such talented performers taking stage together. In a rare event on June 7, the National Centre for the Performing Arts will host Miracles on Wheels, a unique platform for the differently abled, which attempts to challenge the notions of what is often referred to as a disability.

The show will feature a talented group of performers on wheelchairs. “They will perform a wide variety of acts, ranging from Bharatanatyam to yoga. We’ve also planned a recital of the Bhagavad Gita,” says Syed Sallauddin Pasha, director of Ability Unlimited Foundation (AUF), and the man behind the event.

“I’ve been to rural parts of the country where disabled people are treated badly. That’s what led me to work on this initiative. I’ve done it for more than a decade now, to promote their interests and to make them feel no different from others,” says Pasha. Ask him how hard is to train them for the performances and he says, “It takes a lot of patience. It’s not something that can be done in a day. This performance, for instance, is a result of training for months and multiple counselling sessions with them and their families.”

For Pasha and the others at AUF, wheelchairs are a means to freedom. “When we started out, I would spend entire days contacting various organisations to allow us to perform at their premises. Now, we get invited to perform all across the country and even abroad,” he says.