Tuesday January 21, 2020
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Essence of freedom: What independence means to the poor children of India

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By Arnab Mitra

When the country is celebrating its 69th Independence Day, children at some corners of the country are dying from hunger and are working in tea stalls and factories to make ends meet.

The Government is reluctant to look after these Indians even as thousands of children die every day. According to UNESCO, India ranked 71 in concern of children health and education.

To help the poor children, Kolkata-based group ABCD (Any Body Can Donate) today organized a program with some hundred slum children of Kolkata, to give them a ray of enjoyment in their melee.

NewsGram had an interaction with one of the founding members of the group Any Body Can Donate, Arka Jyoti Pal who expressed his deep concern about the fate of these poor children.

Arnab Mitra: 69th year of independence. Why does India neglect her children?

Arka Jyoti Pal: It is because the rich are becoming richer and the poor become poorer. The government does not have time to look after these poor children, they are busy in increasing their salary with black money.

AM: What is the motto behind your group?

Arka: Our motto is “To help the neglected class”. Every party shouts about helping the poor during the election, but the condition of these poor people remains same. They don’t have any independence, they are still deprived of their basic rights of food, health and shelter. It is a shame to an independent nation.

AM: How do you intend to help these poor children?

Arka: Every year, according to the basis of merit, we help them in their higher education. We are also trying to build an institution where we can provide free education to these poor children.

NewsGram also talked with some poor children and they said they could not savor the feeling of being independent.

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Gallery Dedicated for Disabled Indian Artists gets Inaugurated at UNESCO House

Enabling the participation of persons with disabilities in artistic and cultural life is a key priority for UNESCO

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To honour the talent of artists with disability, the first edition of 'Discovering Ability' art awards was also organised by Youth4Jobs Foundation, with UNESCO and HSBC. Wikimedia Commons

As part of an inclusive initiative, a temporary art gallery titled ‘Not Just Art’, dedicated to Indian artists with disabilities, was inaugurated by union minister G. Kishan Reddy at UNESCO Cluster House here on Monday.

The unique gallery has over 125 paintings done by disabled artists across 15 Indian states, and showcases their amazing talent with colour and form.

It will be open for public viewing on November 5-7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., UNESCO said.

To honour the talent of artists with disability, the first edition of ‘Discovering Ability’ art awards was also organised by Youth4Jobs Foundation, with UNESCO and HSBC.

The award celebrates the artistic abilities of persons with disability, who have hitherto remained a largely unrecognised talent pool.

The artists were awarded with a cash prize of Rs 50,000. They are Amrit Khurana and Rohit Anand, both autistic artists; Mallika Khaneja, an artist affected by cerebral palsy; Y. Raghavendran, an artist with speech and hearing impairment; Niral Hareshbhai Swati, an artist with intellectual disability; Mohammed Yasar who participated in the Paralympic Art World Cup in 2019; and Durgesh Kumar Rathore, an artist with dyslexia and bibliophobia.

“Enabling the participation of persons with disabilities in artistic and cultural life is a key priority for UNESCO. (The initiative adds to) disability-focused interventions in India. It signals our commitment to empower persons with disabilities to become both mainstream consumers and producers of art forms.,” Eric Falt, UNESCO Director, New Delhi said.

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As part of an inclusive initiative, a temporary art gallery titled ‘Not Just Art’, dedicated to Indian artists with disabilities, was inaugurated by union minister G. Kishan Reddy at UNESCO Cluster House. Pixabay

“If it’s the tag of just an artist, it would hardly get noticed. If we say disabled artist, people will still sit up and take notice. The awards feels like a great recognition,” Aarti Khurana, the mother of an autistic artist Amrit Khurana told IANS.

The jury was a panel of three eminent judges from the Department of Fine Arts, Sarojini Naidu College of Arts and Communication, Hyderabad, UNESCO said.

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As per Youth4Jobs head Meera Shenoy, said the initiative will also help artists develop market linkages, and they will continue to sell art online and through museums under the ‘Not Just Art’ platform. (IANS)