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Breaking down the barrier: Siblings start a forum that works towards inclusivity of the differently abled
Two sisters in the city, Abilasha and Ashwini Veeraraghavan have come up with a enterprising venture ‘Vaanga Pesalam’, a series of events that focuses on smashing the stereotypes surrounding disabilities.
Working under the banner of their non-profit organisation ‘Voice of the Unheard’, the duo along with few other friends are organising interactive sessions every month featuring speakers from different backgrounds, who will share their opinions and experiences.
“I always used to wonder why the differently abled people were bullied and face so many obstacles. I realised we had to do something to make their lives easier,” says Ashwini, revealing the inspiration for the initiative.
She and her sister started the ‘Voice of the Unheard’ two years ago with an aim towards not only creating awareness among people, but also empowering the community.
The young group of six now work with kids in the disabled sector, organising events for them and training them in creative pursuits like art, dance and music.
“Next up, we plan to work with underprivileged kids in the disabled sector (beginning with those who are hearing impaired) living in rural areas. We are going to bring in doctors, lawyers and counsellors to help them lead a better life,” Ashwini says.
For now their focus is on the ‘Vaanga Pesalam’ project.
The first episode of this series, hosted at Vidya Sagar special needs School on Saturday, revolved around the topic – ‘The Disability Tag: We are more than our disabilities’.
Counselling psychologist Archana Achuthan was the speaker at the event, which turned out to be an open forum of discussion. “We want to set up a platform where anyone can come and talk, discuss, create solutions, brainstorm ideas and do everything towards making this an inclusive society.
We are also planning to have music and dance sessions along with the discussion,” signs off Ashwini.