Inclusive cultural Event celebrated in Poonch, Jammu

The inclusive cultural event celebrated by She Hope Society in Poonch

As we know, inclusion is a fundamental right of everyone and its aim ought to be to carry everyone along with irrespective of race, age, gender, disability, religious and cultural beliefs. We can claim to have true inclusion only when we cast away all barriers, discrimination, and intolerance and make everyone feel included and supported in all environments.
To inculcate a mindset among people and key government functionaries in the district Poonch regarding the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the mainstream, She Hope Society for Women Entrepreneurs proposed the idea of organizing an inclusive cultural event for them to the Department of Education Poonch.
Although, the said department was initially reluctant to be a part of this event because of COVID-19, however, they came around the idea after they understood the impact it will have on the mindset of people at large and how it can help in changing the perception of community and other stakeholders towards people with disabilities.
So, the department of education agreed to extend the hand of cooperation and also provided the venue for the same. Thus the Government Higher Secondary School Dhargaloon Mendhar became the venue for the event, which was organized by She Hope Society for Women Entrepreneurs (SHSFWE) with the support of the HCL Foundation.
Since the onset of COVID-19, adherence to SOPs (Standard Operating Procedure) is mandatory for any public event, therefore, strict COVID-19 protocols were in place to ensure the safety of participants.
A large number of people including persons with disabilities and students had turned up for the event which commenced with the ‘Tilawat’ of the Quran followed by a ‘Naat’, which had audiences completely mesmerized.
Following ‘Naat’ an inclusive skit was presented wherein the message given was that people should desist from making a distinction on the basis of race, culture, and disability.
The mood of the proceedings was changed by an inclusive song that had youngsters on their feet.
Zonal Education Officer Mohammad Aziz was the chief guest while other dignitaries present on the occasion included Principal higher secondary School, Mendhar, Panches, Sarpanches, and some prominent members of the civil society.
While hailing SHSFWE for working tirelessly for the inclusion of persons with disabilities, ZEO stressed upon society to create a supportive and respective environment for persons with disabilities. He further added that a personalized environment for the students with disabilities should be created so that they don’t face any learning challenges in a classroom environment.
Our community facilitator thanked the guests in the end before outlining future plans the organization has for the region.
Mementos were presented to guests towards the end. The event managed to drive home the point that persons with disabilities are as much a part of society as any and they should not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.