Wednesday, Nov 03, 2004
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At Sangamam, a gathering of the differently-abled
By Our Staff Reporter
CHENNAI, NOV. 2. It was a memorable day for the 11,000 differently-abled persons brought together to celebrate `Sangamam', an event for special people conducted here today.
True to its name, (Sangamam means union), the differently-abled from over 130 organisations in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur made for a mass assembly at the Nehru stadium. The event was organised by the International Association of Lions Clubs (district 324 A5) with the aim of achieving a Guinness Record.
The event started with a march past by the physically and mentally challenged, who were led by a musical band made up of particularly sprightly group of children. A half-hour training session on yoga then followed.
The Kanchi Acharya, Jayendra Saraswati, who was at hand, said those with physical and mental deficiencies had additional abilities to compensate for their disability. Praying for their welfare, he hailed the efforts of the Lions Clubs in organising the event. He called for more such ventures to support the differently-abled and to create awareness about their skills.
E. Shanmuga Sundaram, Joint Director, Office of the State Commissioner of the Disabled, said voluntary bodies needed to join hands with the Government to ensure jobs for the physically challenged. The Prince of Arcot, Mohammed Abdul Ali, was also present.
Inaugurated by Chigurupathi Varaprasad, the international director of Lions Clubs multiple district 324, the event had prayers from all faiths for the welfare of the differently abled.
About 7,000 children participated in a painting contest that was part of the celebrations. W.I. Davaram, the Vice President of Sports Development Authority, later distributed notebooks and other aids to the children. Parvathy Viswanath, zone 3 chairperson of Lions Clubs, said the event showcased the abilities of the disabled, who only needed an opportunity to prove themselves.
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