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An inclusive blindfolded walkathon at Delhi University aims to build inclusion

An inclusive society is one that accepts and respects all people regardless of differences, be it in colour, religion or disability. Something various organizations in India are working to promote in different ways. One such organization is Offbeat Carnival .

Based in New Delhi, Offbeat Carnival organizes events and provides platforms for promotion of inclusion. Next up on their agenda is a walkathon to create awareness about visual impairments.

Called Walkathon: A Blindfolded Trust Walk, the event on 4 April is being held in partnership with the Enabling Unit of the well-known St Stephens College in Delhi University.

The walkathon will see visually impaired people paired with buddies and competing in a race. One runner will be sighted while the other is not. In case both are sighted, one of them will be blindfolded for the duration of the run.

The partners will be tethered at the wrist so they can guide each other on the track. Through this event, the organizers aim to create awareness about disabilities and promote inclusion.

We aim to help people see and understand that people with disabilities are in no way less than others and are capable of being a part of mainstream. We need to change the mindsets of people who only look at disabilities and not beyond that. - Pooja Banga, Founder, Offbeat Carnival

Among the participants are students, athletes, some local businessmen and families.

"This is a new concept and a fun thing to do for us", said Rakshit Malik, President, Enabling Unit, St Stephen's College. "We are super excited about the event and the walkathon will be great opportunity to change the mindset of people towards disabilities.

Offbeat Carnival is also promoting a Tactile Guitar Chord Book that has been developed by students of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. The book aims to enable visually impaired people learn music.

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