UAE to host festival for determined youths
For the first time ever, determined children in the UAE will get a spectacular stage to showcase their talents. Santhwanam, a social organisation registered under the Community Development Authority (CDA), Dubai will host the third edition 'Santhwanam Youth Fest - 2017', an inter-school cultural festival on November 24 and 25 at the Gulf Model School, Al Qusais, Dubai. Several thousand students have participated in the previous editions of the Santhwanam Youth Festival.
Open for all schools following the Indian school curricula Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), the festival is open to registration for mainstream students as well as differently abled students.
Over 1,000 school students and 150 determined students, from across all special needs schools and institutions, are expected to participate in the events. The organising committee has opened up the stage for home-schooled students as well and has stated that they would not charge students a fee for participation.
Mainstream students and determined children will not be competing against each other, and seven special stages have been set up for the special students. Pappachan K Reji, the president of Santhwanam told Khaleej Times: "After receiving multiple requests from parents of differently abled students, we decided to hold an event just for them. Determined youth have unique capabilities and talents, and we want to provide them with a platform to showcase their skills."
The organising committee will accept applications for children with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and certain physical disabilities such as blindness, etc. The students can partake in dance, music (solo and group), play a musical instrument, costume competition, drawing, painting, and other arts and crafts activities.
Reji George, secretary of Santhwanam said, "The event is being organised under the watchful eye of the CDA. The stage, backstage, and all other facilities for determined students have been specially set up to suit their needs. Several volunteers will also be part of the event." A doctor, nurse, and medical technicians will also be made available on-site, he added.
Mathew Varghese, general convenor of Santhwanam said: "Almost 14 schools have already registered. This a project that is very close to our hearts, and this is our way of persuading determined students to become part of mainstream society."
Overall, the competitions will be conducted for 27 items in different categories like sub-junior, junior, and senior level. Apart from the first, second, and third prizes in each category, a Kalathilakam and Kalaprathibha will also be selected and the school with maximum points will receive the Santhwanam Best School for 2017. Details about the event can be found on www.santhwanamuae.org