On January 31st, 2021, the Asian Literary Society organized the PARWAAZ 2021 event (An initiative to showcase the talent of differently-abled people). In light of the present Covid-19 scenario, this event was conducted online.
The day-long event began with a welcome note by Mr. Manoj Krishnan (Founder, Asian Literary Society). The Chief Guest Padma Shri Dr. Shyam Singh Shashi (Eminent Writer and Social Scientist) delivered the inaugural address and highlighted the literary contribution by differently-abled people in past.
Dr. Amarendra Khatua (Former Secretary, MEA) stressed the need for a serious discussion on public platforms to arouse a general awakening among people about issues related to people with special needs.
A panel discussion on “God’s own children- Different but not less” was organized in which the panelists, Ms. Merry Barua (Founder, AFA), Mr. Akhil Paul (Founder, Sense India), Ms. Gulshan Kavarana (Founder, SFS), and Mr. Jaimil Joshi (Founder, GIMME5) discussed the ways to promote their abilities and empower them with skills.
In another panel discussion on the topic “Inclusion-a Myth or Reality”, Ms. Neena Raina (Co-founder, Tender Hearts Arena, Dubai), Ms. Fionika Sanghvi (Principal, SPJ Sadhana School), and Ms. Rahima Amiraly (Founder, Rising Stars DXB) provided insight on the changes in the mindset of parents, family, and society about differently-abled people.
An exciting segment of the PARWAAZ 2021 program was a talent show and art exhibition in which people with special needs from India and abroad enthusiastically participated. The participants included Sharan Delhivala, Vansh Rajwani, Tarun Nair, Varun Sawant, Mihir Pillai, Anoushka Tandon, Md Affan Hashmi, Varun Raina, Jeel Valand, Vaishnav K, Urvi Bhaveshbhai Rathi, Karan Verma, Zinnia Desai, Sneha Thakur, Nisha Parmar, Usaid Shaikh, Fathima Sidhik, Adwitya Kumar Bhatnagar, Sahl Riyaz, Ananya Halarnkar, Julan Mehta, Krishnendu Chatterjee, Aditya Tomar, Som Parashar, Deepshikha Rathaur, Bihag Srinivas, Krisha Shah, N.S.Shreyas Kiran, Divya Gwalani, Mark Gilbert Austin, Prerna Gwalani, Siddhanth Palaparti, Hiral Shah, and N. S. Shreyas Kiran.
There was also a panel discussion on “The Right to Education for Children With Special Needs” in which panelists Ms. Varsha Makhija (Co-principal, The Gateway School of Mumbai), Ms. Anusha Subramanian (Eminent Journalist& Scholar), Dr. Sunita Wadikar (Former Principal, Pillai College of Education &Research) and Ms. Bina Pillai (Eminent Author) spoke on the need of educating differently-abled people and providing them employment opportunities for their better tomorrow.
The event and panel discussion were moderated by Ms. Anita Chand, Dr. Swasti Dhar, Ms. Nisha Tandon, and Ms. Zeba Tabassum.
The program ended with the felicitation of all the participants by founder Mr. Manoj Krishnan and a vote of thanks.
It was heartening to note the warm, positive response to the “PARWAAZ-2021” program from all the invitees, participants, and audience members from all over the world.