BENGALURU: Pratap, a 26-year-old with cerebral palsy, danced on stage for the first time at Ananda Tandav on Sunday.
He recalled that as a child, his teacher had stopped him from taking part in a race due to his physical disability. But at NGO Smileys India’s event at Bangalore Santhe, he was one of 300 children participating from different homes in the city, letting go of their inhibitions associated with disability and performing.
“The event is about people like me who could never get a platform,” said Pratap. He is a core volunteer with Smileys India.
“The NGO aims to promote art and culture among the younger generation,” said Vinay, who works for Smileys. “There are many dance events everyday, but only a few are inclusive.”
The event, in its second year, had 30 disabled volunteers. It also saw the launch of dance troupe Attam, consisting of seven people with disability. Sreelata, Ms India Wheelchair and who is part of Attam, said, “I love being here. It is a great platform to spread the message of inclusion to children.”
Workshops and other fun activities also engaged the children.