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Fun fair to celebrate World Disability Day

Staff Reporter

Percussionist Sivamani has children dancing to his beats



Physically challenged children host the National Flag at a funfair at Rajarathinam Stadium on Sunday. Photo by K.V. Srinivasan

CHENNAI: Shakti Foundation and Airtel held a fun fair at the Rajarathinam stadium for the disabled on Sunday to celebrate `World Disability Day'.

The grounds had a festive air with Charlie Chaplin, Santa Claus and furry characters weaving through the crowds.

The fair was launched by U.S. Consul-General David T. Hopper who expressed his support for the Shakti Foundation, an organisation that works to include the disabled into mainstream society.

Social responsibility programme

Airtel COO, Mobile Services, Chennai and Tamil Nadu, Mahesh Thampi, said their support to the foundation came under the social responsibility programme Airtel Cares for Everyone (ACE).

He said they would continue to support the foundation's work with the physically challenged and the under-privileged.

Chairperson of the foundation Vasanth Raghuvir said, "We crusade relentlessly for access and an inclusive society where they [the disabled] are a part of us and not apart."

Celebrity support

In keeping with the Foundation's trend of celebrity support, percussionist Sivamani offered to entertain the gathering with his music. He performed in the open air with his characteristic showmanship, and had children gathered around him and dancing to his beats.

Over 800 children with disabilities from 17 special schools and 300 able-bodied students from five schools in Chennai participated in the event. Chennai Commissioner of Police Letika Saran led the gathering of various business houses in Chennai in a pledge to support Shakti Foundation, the physically challenged and work towards a barrier-free environment.

Entertainment galore

Entertainment at the fete included a magic show, face painting, balloon sculpting and game stalls.

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