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Come to Kovalam this April for India's biggest & barrier-free kite festival

Kovalam, one of India's most popular beaches located in Kerala, is all set to host a barrier-free kite festival in April. The two-day event on 27 and 28 April will bring together children with and without disabilities.

The kite festival is being organized by Helping Hands Organization (H2O), an NGO based in Thiruvananthapuram. This is their second edition and H2O is thrilled to be associated with one of the biggest barrier-free kite festivals in the country

The grand success of last year's kite festival is what prompted organizers at H2O to repeat it again this year. The festival is primarily a fund-raising event that also promotes the importance of barrier free places for children with disabilities.

Jolly Johnson, founder, H2O says that while there are many kite festivals in the world, few are open to children with disabilities.

In spite of being a popular tourist destination, Kovalam is still inaccessible and not disabled-friendly. We ave informed authorities about this and are in talks with nearby hotels to have accessible features. Some of them have gladly introduced it. We hope to make this kite festival a beautiful event and encourage more disabled children to step out of the four walls of their homes. - Jolly Johnson, Founder, H2O

There are plans to have an exclusive space called Break Area for children who want to take a break from all the noise and the crowds.

"Children with autism or ADHD tend to get anxious or irritated when there is a lot of crowd. They can calm down and relax in this space. The aim is to make it disabled friendly in all ways, says Johnson.

Organizers plan to conduct an accessibility poll as well while the festival is on so they can address those issues next year in the 2020 edition. Children will be given a kite kit so they can make their own kites. Like last year, eco-friendly kites will be used this year.

Apart from the event in Kovalam, H2O is also organizing a Kite Tour in Kochi and Kozhikode. The added attractions, hopes Yogita Dakshina, Communication Consultant, H2O, will attract a bigger turnout this year.

"The whole concept of this event is to break barriers and make sure that disabled kids also get a chance to explore and have fun. Last year, there were more than 300 people who participated for the event. This year we expect a bigger turn out, she says.

So, if you are looking to explore Kerala and have some time, April might be a good time to plan it.



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