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The Future is Inclusive: CBM celebrates 50 glorious years

© CBM India
With the goal to shape an inclusive future for people with disabilities, CBM celebrated its 50th anniversary of its founding at New Delhi on 31, October, 2017.

CBM celebrated 50 years of work in India at New Delhi on 31, October, 2017. While a number of programmes have been held during the year, the event on 31st October had a partners meeting, thematic discussions and a celebration with partners, government and other associates.

Broadening the Horizons on Inclusion

The first session introduced the participants to some aspects of CBM’s perspective on inclusion. CBM’s federation strategy was discussed by Hansjorg Baltensperger representing the International leadership team. CBM India’s CIP and the midterm review were discussed. The Sustainable Development Goals were discussed with examples from three partners sharing their work highlighting what needs to be done differently to contribute to the SDGs.  Finally a team from CBM shared some of the highlights of a recent “envisioning workshop” conducted for CBM India by Dr Vinod Shah.

The session “Broadening the Horizons on Inclusion” aimed to introduce participants to aspects of inclusion such as gender, technology, education and climate change. Prof. Balakrishna, Deputy Director (Strategy & Planning),CSE Department, IIT Delhi (Technology and Inclusion in India) talked about new technology developed by his department for the visually impaired such as smart canes. Dr. Anita Ghai, Associate Professor, Jesus and Mary College, New Delhi spoke on aspects of Gender and Inclusion. Dr.Stanley Borgeaut, Education Expert on the International Perspective on Inclusion in Education.  Dr. S. Ignacimuthu, S.J., Director, Entomology Research Institute, Loyola College, Chennai on how climate change can impact disability. Two corporates, Intuit from India and DOT inc. from South Korea talked on Digital Inclusion. DOT inc. has developed smart watches and DOT mini a braille pad which can help people with visual impairment learn Braille and store material

The final session of the morning was partner’s feedback on their journey to inclusion and their thoughts on how to work towards an inclusive future. Partners had sent in posters on this which were displayed outside the hall.

The Future is Inclusive: Golden Jubilee session

©CBM India
Panel Discussion on Broadening the Horizons on Inclusion.
The afternoon celebration started with a traditional lighting of the lamp. The keynote speaker for the day was Mr. George Abraham trustee of CBM India Trust, who spoke on the need for mind-sets to change towards inclusion. There were talks by representatives from the government and intergovernmental organisations, Dr. Patanjali Dev Nayar, Regional Advisor, Disability, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation, WHO, Mr. T.D. Dhariyal, Commissioner, Disabilities, Govt. of N.C.T. of Delhi Mr. Mukesh Jain, Joint Secretary & CEO, National Trust, Ministry of Social Justice, Govt. of India and Mr Phanindra Babu Nukella, CEO of Vision 2020 India.

A highlight of the afternoon was the representation of people with disabilities from our field areas, Ms. Celine from the North East, Mr. Murali from Coimbatore spoke in sign language, and Ms Neeta a mother of a child with disability spoke in English, sign language and Hindi respectively, on CBM’s interventions and the difference this has made to them.  
This was followed by a gift from various DPOS from around India to CBM. The representatives of various DPOs came together and made a gift of INR 150,000 to CBM with the request to CBM to spread this work to help more people with disabilities. The gift from the field to CBM was deeply moving.
A video message from a role model for people with disabilities, a young woman with visual impairment who had received a scholarship through CBM and is now in the Indian Foreign Service was also deeply affecting and indicative of the changes our interventions make.

CBM Stories of Change Book release and A Barrier Free World prize distribution

©CBM India
Mr. Mukesh Jain, Joint Secretary & CEO, National Trust, Ministry of Social Justice, GOI, Mr. T.D. Dhariyal, Commissioner, Disabilities, Govt. of N.C.T. of Delhi and Mr Phanindra Babu Nukella, CEO of Vision 2020 India unveil CBM 50 years in India: Stories of Change book.
CBM India has developed a book titled “Stories of Change” and this was released in a very inclusive manner: braille copies were prepared, and excerpts were read both in Braille and with the help of screen readers. The book on CBM’s 50 years showcases CBM’s work towards inclusion in India through vignettes of change, including lives changed, institutions changed and systemic changes made. It also mentions many change makers, people who have taken up the challenge to work on disability and have taken this further into a larger arena, nationally and internationally. 

The celebration culminated with the prize distribution of CBM’s photo and short film competition -”A Barrier Free World for All”. The competition held for students and people with disability helped create a stream of compelling images on the theme of inclusion and empowerment. The photos had been exhibited in Delhi earlier in the month in a collaboration with The Delhi commission for people with disability and the Indira Gandhi national centre for the arts (IGNCA). The winners of the competition were facilitated by Mr. Varghese Chandy, Vice President at Malayalam Manorama.A current Marga Schulze scholarship holder was presented one of the “DOT“ braille smartwatches gifted to CBM for the 50th year celebrations. She is a student of Urdu literature and responded in classic style with an Urdu couplet written for the occasion.

In her welcome speech Dr. Sara Varughese, national director, said “We have been privileged over the years to have visionary leaders and beyond that we have had responsive partners who take up new ideas and make them reality. This 50th year is not just a year of celebration but a year of looking ahead. We believe Disability inclusion will model the way for a caring society, disability inclusion can model a way for social inclusion and national integration. CBM will embrace change, will work to transform our society and to be nationally relevant.

CBM had prepared its commitment towards an inclusive future and this was shared with the participants (again braille versions were available as was all the material for the day). The audience was asked whether they agreed to this commitment to work towards an inclusive future. There was a near unanimous assent. The additional comment from Mr Mukesh Jain was his hope that by the time of the centenary celebrations, inclusion for all people with disabilities would indeed be a reality.

Thumbnail for video "Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals" Thumbnail for video "Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals"

Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals

The highlights of T20 World Cup for the blind finals held at Chinnaswamy Stadium Bengaluru, India


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