Radio Udaan Convention 2017 – a great meet-up to raise awareness and network among people with disabilities

31 Jan

Radio Udaan Convention 2017 – a great meet-up to raise awareness and network among people with disabilities

On 28th January, 2017, I have attended 3rd convention of Radio Udaan at Hyderabad. Thanks to Sri Jain Sangh (of course the efforts of our dear good friend Meenal Singhvi and her family) for hosting the convention.

As usual, Ministers who have committed to attend inaugural session of the convention did not turn up but that has not discouraged anyone who have attended to the convention. As far as I know, this is for the second time, where Ministers of Telengana have committed to attend but did not turn up. One was an event organized by the All India Confederation of the Blind and now by Radio Udaan. I have also heard, ministers have committed to attend Birth anniversary celebrations of Mr. Louis Braille at various hostels run by Government but did not turn up. Anyways, it’s ministers who have missed an opportunity to witness a great event and not Radio Udaan.

A quick recap of the convention – has started with the welcome address by Danish Mahajan, General Secretary of Udaan Welfare Society. He has exlained why Radio Udaan has started and how they have been able to impact lives of people with disabilities not only in India but across the world. Radio Udaan has listeners from around 150 countries. Radio Udaan’s objective is to have knowledge and news available to users with disabilities in general and visually impaired in particular.

Then there was address by guests on the stage who applauded efforts of Radio Udaan and overwhelmed with the progress happening in the disability sector.

There was a skit performed by Radio Udaan team; it was a story of how a person with blindness gets rejected by a his girl friend’s brother. I’ll write another post with full story and video of the skit. It was a wonderful performance.

A presentation was made by Ms. Shalini Khanna, Head of NAB India Centre for Blind Women. She explained why they have started centre for blind women; a few years ago, while they were conducting a survey to identify people with disabilities, they have found, women with disabilities are just restricted to be idle at home and notexposed to education, cooking or any activity.

Then there was a presentation by Ms. Shilpi Kapoor, Founder of BarrierBreak. She emphasised need for showing existance of people with disabilities. Otherwise developers of applications would not really care about.

After a delicious lunch, a presentation was made by my good friend Annavaram, Professor in Sociology, Hyderabad Central University. He spoke about media and disability. Earlier radio transmission was used as reading medium for people with vision impairment.

Annavaram has also informed gathering about T20 World Cricket Cup for the Blind that is happening now in India.

Further there was a fantastic cultural activities by Radio Udaan team. Overall, event was a grand success. With limited support that Radio Udaan has received, they have organized a great event. It has been great privilage to be able to help Radio Udaan re-build their website with the help of my colleagues at Informatica.

Wishing Radio Udaan a continued success.

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BySrinivasu Chakravarthula

I am an enthusiast of accessibility and classical music.

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