Kohima: The second edition of Umang Festival saw a colourful presentation by differently-abled children, among others, at the State Academy Hall in Kohima on Wednesday.
The event was graced by Kavita Acharya, wife of state governor Padmanabha Acharya. Addressing the gathering she said, “The word ‘Umang’ itself is meaningful — ‘hope’ for all ‘divyang’ children who are physically challenged coming together and participating in the cultural event. It is a special occasion for all these children.”
Speaking with EastMojo, Purnima Kayina, headmistress of Cherry Blossoms School, Kohima, said, “In this festival, we’re trying to bring all the specially-abled children in an inclusive environment and to also showcase their talents in different capabilities.”
Kayina added: “Children with disabilities were not really seen or were not really surfacing some years back. But with inclusion that we started in 2007, we have seen a real progress of children with disabilities coming to school and partaking in different schools and programmes.”
Cherry Blossoms School was established in 1999 and became an inclusive school in 2007 enrolling children with disabilities to learn alongside other children.
Besides inclusive education, Cherry Blossoms Society has been advocating for children with disabilities through Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) where the society reaches to the general community and spread the awareness that ‘inclusion is possible’ and children with disabilities must be recognised and valued.
Kayina concluded saying that there is no difference between specially-abled children and others, as they are all “God’s children”.
The festival had Bible recitation, dance performances, instrumental pieces and songs were performed by all students.
The festival was organised by the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) in collaboration with Cherry Blossoms Society under the aegis of ministry of culture.