Kolkata: Unified theatre for athletes with and without disability – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Keeping in mind the ongoing Paralympics in Tokyo, Civilian Welfare Foundation, a non-profit NGO have come up with a unique event — Rock for Paralympics: Unified Theatre Edition — to mark India’s achievements in sports for the differently abled.
The event — organized for young athletes with and without disabilities (in the age group between 10-16 years) — will help develop their cognitive empathy towards each other’s thoughts, feelings and perceptions. Ashoke Chaki, director of Special Olympics Bharat in Bengal too was all praise for this event. “Unified sports were initiated in India by Special Olympics Bharat, which resulted in several inclusive platforms.
Launching Unified Theatre was following the same methodology in an updated format. We are pleased that the special athletes synced to this project,” Chaki said. Nupur Sarkar, teacher and instructor for the Unified Theatre, said, “The idea of this project is to break stereotypes about ability, gender, class, caste and other discriminations. It was a difficult decision to start with and then put together a theatre with these athletes. We are genuinely happy that we received such positive support.”
For 13-year-old Bocce Ball player, Debangana — a special child — this is an experience of a lifetime. “I feel overwhelmed being a part of this initiative. I never received such welcoming behavior from any other children before coming to this platform. It makes me feel worthier,” said the Noble Mission School student. The story is similar for 14-year-old Aditya, who was excited with the concept of theatre. “The rehearsals for the play made me feel special as the other kids did not treat me differently,” said the 100m sprinter and a badminton player at the National Institute of Mentally Handicap.
Pradip, who has seen many hardships as a child labourer, feels this event will give a new meaning to his life. “I never acted before and felt anxious about the reaction of my family and friends on seeing me as Goddess Durga on stage. But I enjoyed the rehearsals. I never thought I could ever perform with my special athlete friends,” quipped the 16-year-old 100m and 200m sprinter.
Aman, a 12-year-old partner athlete and 400m relay competitor said, “I was always told that I am good for nothing. This platform helped me feel confident.”
The event will be graced by Cactus lead singer Sidhu, actor Nigel Akara, actor Sudeshna Roy, singer Lopamudra Mitra and dancer Alakananda Roy.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/kolkata-unified-theatre-for-athletes-with-and-without-disability/articleshow/85688899.cms