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An evening to celebrate art & culture with people with disabilities at iGNiTE

From stand up comedy acts to poetry sessions, Central Park at Delhi's Connaught Place will bring to the public an evening of art and culture on 24 November. Called iGNiTE - An Evening with PWDs, the event aims to showcase to the world the many talents of people with disabilities.

Accessibility critic Pulkit Sharma, well known to Instagram fans as The Boy on Bat Mobile, celebrity DJ Varun Khullar, award-winning poet-activist Vinayana Khurana, Mr Wheelchair India 2015 Gulfam Ahmed, and model-radio jockey Simran Chawla are just some of the talented people with disabilities lined up to perform at iGNiTE - An Evening with PWDs on 24 November in New Delhi.

The event will be held at Central Park in Connaught Place, the heart of the national capital. The date and choice of venue, says Tanushree Sharma, Co-founder, Love Actually, which is organising the event, is a deliberate one.

We are focusing on art and culture, pan-India and global, and encouraging even newcomers and NGOs to perform in front of the public. We work to break the notions around people with disabilities and are pushing for a bigger change towards inclusivity with equality and to bring behavioural change. The idea of organising such an event only with disabled performers is to get people gathered to witness their talents. - Tanushree Sharma, Co-founder, Love Actually

Love Actually plans to do a similar event in Mumbai in December this year with the support of the Rotary Club, Nariman Point. The Delhi event is in partnership with the NGOs Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled and Atulyakala. Along with live performances, handmade items by people with disabilities will also be exhibited and sold.

An online and offline initiative, Love Actually aims to encourage and empower people with disabilities to be independent, socially and professionally. The idea is to connect with the non-disabled community through events and workshops.

The Delhi show will be hosted by Pulkit and Shagun Pathak, who is also a person with disability. While Shagun has prior experience hosting public events, this will be Pulkit's first experience on many counts. He is going on stage for the first time and will be doing stand up comedy for the first time too.

"Yes, I am quite excited because this is my first event", said Pulkit to NewzHook. "I video blog a lot but being in front of the camera is quite different from going on stage". His comedy routine will be a mix of many things. "I am going to be talking about Bollywood, disability and general stuff".

Shagun, who plans to do a rap performance during the event, expects a big turnout. "I am sure there will be 2,000 plus people watching the show. My idea is to gather as many people around as possible and sensitise them about people with disabilities and their needs. I am not going to give speeches but keep it interactive and encourage people to ask questions about disability and disabled people freely"

If you are in Delhi on 24 November, do check out the event. Entry is free.

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