Srujana: Presenting a stage for all

rdt published date February 1, 2020    rdt published author rdt

  • For the first time RDT organised a cultural festival exclusively for children with intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy, Srujana 2020.
  • More than 168 children from 9 RDT centres (6 centres for intellectual disabilities and 3 centres for cerebral palsy) participated in various events.


Rural Development Trust’s Disability Inclusive Development sector and Arts and Culture sector organised Srujana, a one-of-kind cultural festival exclusively for children with intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy. The festival was organised in the auditorium of RDT High School for Speech and Hearing Impaired Children in Bukkarayasamudram, Anantapur on the 29th January, 2020.

“In all the cultural festivals organised by RDT so far, children with intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy participate in minuscule numbers. So we decided to organise this event exclusively for them. This festival is an opportunity for all these children to have a fair chance at showcasing their enthusiasm and skills in music and dance,” says Nirmal Kumar, Director of Arts and Culture sector, RDT.

Around 168 children from 9 RDT centres participated in this event. The categories in this event were singing – solo, duet and group action and dance – solo, duet and group. There were also two dance performances attempted by these children on wheelchairs and a free dance category for children from all centres to perform together.

“I am very happy to be a part of this event. My favourite hero is Ramcharan and I want to dance like him. I want to participate in the future too,” says Mahesh, 12 who lives in the Centre for Intellectual Disability in Uravakonda and participated in the solo dance and free dance categories.

Scroll below to catch a glimpse of what happened at this event.


A child singing a solo ©Felita Viegas/RDT


Getting their costume and make-up ready ©Ramamohan/RDT


Girls giving a duet singing performance ©Ramamohan/RDT


Mahesh performing for the free dance category©Felita Viegas/RDT


The audience, most of whom were students from RDT High School for Speech and Hearing Impaired who kept encouraging all the performers. ©Ramamohan/RDT


Children from the Special Olympics programme singing together. ©Felita Viegas/RDT


Children with intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy performing a group action song together ©Ramamohan/RDT


A wheelchair dance performance that was attempted for the first time by these children. ©Felita Viegas/RDT


A free dance performance ©Ramamohan/RDT

“We follow some special teaching for these children such as gestures and colourful lights and follow up with them through practice. Their desire for learning and their perseverance is admirable. It is heartwarming for me to see them perform on stage,” says Lalitha, a cultural organiser from Bukkarayasamudram who trains both children with and without disabilities.

RDT believes that arts and culture should be accessible to all. The dominant notion in the society is that children and people with intellectual disabilities or cerebral palsy are unable to process music or perform. With appropriate methods in training, these children can express themselves through music and dance and outdo themselves. “I am overjoyed to see these children perform with such enthusiasm. We definitely want to take this forward and will organise such events for them involving more categories,” remarks Nirmal Kumar.


Text: Felita Viegas


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