ITANAGAR, 4 Mar: Chief Minister Pema Khandu assured that he would take up the issues of persons with disabilities in the ongoing budget session.
Khandu gave the assurance during a ‘Divya kala shakti’ cultural event, themed ‘Witnessing ability in disability’, presented by divyangjans at the Dorjee Khandu Convention Centre here on Thursday evening.
“We had the opportunity to witness the diversity of the Northeast region here today, and the performers have inspired me, inspired us all. I will ensure that we keep a provision for the divyangjans in this budget session,” Khandu said.
Attending the programme, union MoS for Social Justice & Empowerment, Ratan Lal Kataria applauded the diverse performance of the artists from all over the Northeast and other states, and lauded Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin for dedicating herself to the cause of differently-abled persons.
“We are dedicated to the cause of the divyangjans and we will take all the necessary steps to encourage their artistic talents and for their holistic development,” he added.
Governor BD Mishra also motivated the participants and asked them to be self-confident and “attempt to carry on with appropriate activities like any other individual.”
The governor expressed hope that the Centre’s empowerment of persons with disabilities department and the state’s social justice, empowerment and tribal affairs (SJETA) department would periodically organize such events in the future.
The evening saw lively performances by persons with disabilities from all across the Northeast, and some who had arrived from Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Odhisa.
The performers included those with locomotor, intellectual, hearing, speech and visual disabilities, and Down’s syndrome.
The cultural programme, a brainchild of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Department Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin, was organized to showcase the talents and skills of divyang children and youths in performing and fine arts. It was organized by the SJETA, the women & child development and the health departments, in collaboration with Cuttack (Odisha)-based Swami Vivekananda National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research.
Participants from Assam, West Bengal, Arunachal, Tripura, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Odisha, Meghalaya and Nagaland presented folk dances, Bihu, Satriya and Kathak dances, yoga, bodybuilding and martial arts, and physically challenged participants from Delhi also presented a basketball routine.
The state’s SJETA Minister Alo Libang and other officials and ministers also attended the cultural programme.
The event, which will conclude on Friday, also has exhibition stalls of the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India and the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation.