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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - It's an understanding that they can do something and bring joy during this festive period.- Supplied photo
A determined child strummed guitar to sing 'Merry Christmas' while another sang playing the keyboard.
A group of children of determination in Abu Dhabi put their dancing shoes on, sang and spread the joy of Christmas and they were joined by children without disabilities.
The day-long 'Christmas Carnival', organised by the Indian Ladies Association (ILA) Abu Dhabi, was also filled with activities like singing, dancing, Christmas tree decoration, initiative to create best out of waste, magic show, games etc.
A determined child strummed guitar to sing 'Merry Christmas' while another sang playing the keyboard. There were rehearsed dances, which saw audience join impromptu on the stage.
"My son is autistic. This is one of the rare chances for him to be part of society events. He had taken part in an ILA event during India's children's day, and received a gift which made him extremely happy. These recognitions mean a lot to these kids," said a mother of a determined 14-year-old at the India Social and Cultural Centre.
Aradhana Sharma, wife of the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Pavan Kapoor, noted that such events helped change perception of the public towards children of determination. "All these children have special hidden talents. Through these events, they can come out, enjoy and bring to the fore of general people. These activities aren't about doing something for them rather getting them to say something to everyone else. It's an understanding that they can do something and bring joy during this festive period."
ILA president Sunita Wagle said the carnival was an effort to promote inclusion and acceptance in the society. "Earlier this March, the UAE took a major step towards an inclusive world by hosting the Special Olympics World Games. We draw our strength from such humanitarian events. This Christmas Carnival is our contribution to the UAE's journey to create a world without discrimination against those with and without disabilities. We held another event last month and plan more events of inclusiveness next year."
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