- Date: Feb 2013
Report on the fun afternoon to celebrate International Day of People with Disability on December 15th at Pennant Hills community centre.
The Social Services Foundation of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) of Australia organized a fun afternoon for people with special needs and the frail and elderly to celebrate the International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD). The camp was held at the Pennant Hills community centre.
More than 120 people attended the camp. The best part of the evening was the coming together of various nationalities - Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, Fijian etc. Disability knows no nationality. It was a gathering of Australians of various ethnic backgrounds united in facing a challenge who wanted to have fun.
Another unique feature of the celebration was that 95% of the participants, performers and volunteers were youth from HYA,YSM,BSK,HSS , SVP and SEVA Australia . It was extremely heart warming to see mainstream youth integrating with their special needs counterparts.
It really was a fun afternoon. The event was proudly sponsored by the Hornsby Shire Council.
The celebration was declared open by Mrs. Akila Ramarathinam,National . General Secretary, VHP Australia. The afternoon started with a prayer by Mr. Karthik Iyer & was followed by a sloka by Master Arun Kumar. Both are students of VHP Veda Pada Sala.
The special guests of the day were:
- Mr. Gurdeep Singh, Councillor, Hornsby Shire Council
- Mr. Vincent Yu, CEO Many Minds Link
Inspirational speakers were:
- Mr. Siva Raman
- Mrs. Uma Menon
The Master of Ceremonies was Ms. Padhmaja Satyamoorti, who did a fantastic job of conductingthe day’s events in a very well organized manner.
VHP Social Services Coordinator Dr Shobha Kumar welcomed the gathering and highlighted the importance of showcasing the talents of differently abled people.
Councillor of Hornsby Mr. Gurdeep Singh spoke about the importance of inclusion of special people in the society. Mr. Singh stated that Hornsby Council was proud to support this event by VHP Australia and added that he was very happy to see a very culturally diverse gathering of different nationalities.
Mrs. Uma Menon, a parent of a differently abled child spoke about the tough battle faced by carers in bringing up special children and the constant struggle involved in every stage of life. It was an emotional talk and there was not a dry eye in the audience.
Mr. Cheerful Siva Raman spoke about the great job that parents and carers perform and gave a glimpse of his life and how he has and is overcoming barriers. It truly was a real pep talk which energised the audience.
Prashanth Ramasubramanian demonstrated some simple yoga moves and touched upon the benefits of yoga.
Ms Rajeswari Rao & Mr. Uday Shah spoke about the newly formed organisation “SAMARPAN inc”. The main aim of SAMARPAN is to bring about and strengthen connections between persons with disability (PWD) and to foster and maintain relationships and friendships between PWD with a view to help them connect and overcome their isolation. The long term plan also includes setting up suitable accommodation options for the member’s (PWD). Membership is open and Uday & Rajeshwari would be more than happy to provide more information.
Miss. Bhavana enthralled the audience with her fast dance number.
Mr. Vincent Yu, CEO of Many minds Link spoke about his first of a kind venture “Work For Life Programme”. Mr. Yu is the father of an autistic young man and started this venture when his son was sent away from a lot of employment programmes as he could not fit in.
He decided the venture should not only help his son but also others in a similar situation. That is really generous. It is a program that employs people with disabilities to do all the data entering for a mobile app and also trains them in skills like cooking, cleaning, research and discuss topics of interest, music, hobbies, art, board games and the list goes on. The audience watched a movie on the activities of Many Minds Link. It is truly an outstanding venture. Mr. Yu will be thrilled to provide more information to help parents decide if this program would help their children. They are in the process of incorporating a not for profit organisation. The APP can be downloaded on smart phones for free.
The highlight of the afternoon was the CPAKIDZ band. They mesmerised the audience with their enchanting music. The band had youngsters with varying degrees of ability and for such talent to flow from them, a lot of hard work has gone in from the parents and the performers. The Chinese Parents Association should be extremely proud of this achievement. Hats off to the performers and the parents. At one stage I was wondering, “ if these youngsters are differently abled, and can achieve this, what am I doing with all my abilities?”
There was a lively Bollywood dancing session by Moorebank BSK (Miss Shishira and her team) and Hindu Youth Australia. Everyone joined in and the rumour is that our audience is going to star in the next block buster to be made in Bollywood in a dance sequence!! Any aspiring film makers should grab this talented bunch.
There was a passing the parcel game and everyone enjoyed it to the fullest extent. This was followed by a lot of dancing including the popular “Gangnam style”.
The participants were given a small present in token of their sky high achievements.
Mrs. Akila Ramarathinam, National General Secretary, VHP Australia, rendered the vote of thanks.
There was a delicious vegetarian dinner that was enjoyed by everyone. The caterers Mr and Mrs Kamala Paduki really did a wonderful task of preparing real mouth watering food.
The day’s events would not have been possible without the hard work of all the volunteers. Their services need a very special mention. Special thanks to Chirag from VHP Sanskrit School, HYA who handled the sound systems quite well.
Three cheers to all our special participants and the carers. All of them need to be inducted in the largest hall of fame with the highest honour.
Overall it was a fun afternoon that will be remembered by one and all. The happy faces in the room said it all. VHP Australia hopes to come up with many such events in the future.
Report by MRS UMA RAMASUBRAMANIAN , CO ORDINATOR, VHP HSSF –WOMENS TEAM-Kala,Subshashree,Uma,Dr Shobha,Saraswati,Chandrika,Padmaja,Parul and Akila
From the 16th to the 20th of
“Kreeda, Khood and Kul
On the 26th to the 27th of J
By Parameshwara’s grac