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Rays of Colours Festival will showcase talents of artists with disabilities

Artists with disabilities will come together and showcase their skills at the Rays of Colours (ROC) Festival to be held in New Delhi in February next year. This unique event is being organised by Brotherhood and SPIC MACAY in partnership with UNESCO and United Nations India.

20 February is recognised as World Day of Social Justice by the United Nations across the world, a day that acknowledges the need to tackle issues like poverty, unemployment and exclusion.

It's a day that will be marked in a special and unique way in 2020 in New Delhi with a multi-media concert showcasing the talents of people with disabilities from countries in South Asia, including India. The concert will be held in the setting of the Rays of Colours (ROC) Festival to be organised between 20-23 February at the NDMC Talkatora Indoor Stadium.

This is the first time in the Indian history of the disability sector that Brotherhood and SPIC MACAY are collaborating with UNESCO and United Nations India to showcase the talents of artists with disabilities, trained by renowned exponents. What will captivate you will be the scale - a larger than life event on a big stage that will mesmerise all and make the performers feel proud of their abilities. - Satish Kapoor, Founder-Director, Brotherhood and WE CARE FILM FESTIVAL

The ROC Festival was officially launched on 26 August this year at the UNESCO Auditorium in New Delhi. The festival will have an international presence as well wiith Emirates Walks for Autism joining hands to take it to other countries. Newzhook is a media partner in the event.

"The activities will be designed and developed under the guidance of renowned exponents both from government and non-governmental organisations", adds Kapoor, who says the festival aims to create livelihood opportunities through art and culture for artists with disabilities by exhibiting their talents nationally and internationally.

International presence

The ROC Festival will travel to the United Arab Emirates, countries in Africa as well as others.

"Art and culture have a deep-rooted healing effect in all our lives", says Suman Doonga, Director, Media, SPIC MACAY, who is also a director of the ROC Festival.. "The need of the hour is to empower people and provide a platform in the setting of festivals to perform represent the culture of India in and outside the country".

Art and cultural festivals are being organised in many countries. Singapore recently held the True Colours Festival while the United Kingdom has the Art and Disability Festival. In India too, a need is being felt for such festivals on a regular basis to showcase talents of children and adults with different disabilities.

Organisers will identify individuals with disabilities or groups that are already trained and are willing to train in the classical arts and dances and music. "Mentors and experts will be appointed to train persons with disabilities in various arts and cultural activities along with existing teachers", says Doonga. "We will also identify and collaborate with institutions at government and non-government levels across states".

International partner organisations will identify children and youth with disabilities from different countries who will then be trained by recognised experts.

The multi-media concert will be about two hours long and measures will be taken to ensure that the sound levels and lights are as sensory-friendly as possible. "There will be Sign Language interpretation and captioning at the concert", says Kapoor, "with special seating arrangements for wheelchair-users to enjoy in their own wheelchairs along with family and friends". There will a film festival on disability as well which may be at the venue or at an alternative centre.

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