Dirijaya Prathibha 2017 – a Platform for Disabled Children and Adults to Excel on Stage
Proceeds to Allow for Disabled-friendly Equipment in Public Parks
Following the first ever and successful Dirijaya Prathibha variety show which was initiated in 2013, the unique event has been scheduled to make a comeback with ‘Dirijaya Prathibha 2017 – The Journey Continues…’ Dirijaya Prathibha is a unique event where popular artists from the local music and drama scene will perform alongside children and adults with disabilities who are talented but who are still relatively unknown or recognized in the country. The stage will transform itself as the ideal platform for these amazing individuals and help them to showcase their talents and show that they need to be recognized instead of being cocooned and shunned within a segregated society.
The event will take place on 21st October, 2017 at the Nelum Pokuna and is being organized by the Enable the Disabled Foundation which happens to be the CSR arm of The Management Club, a body of Professional Managers. Enable the Disabled is registered with the Ministry of Social Services and is committed to promoting a disable friendly environment in Sri Lanka. Chief Guest at the event will be the Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils, Faizer Musthapha, under whose Ministry children’s parks are being managed.
The event agenda will include segments conducted by over 70 performers amidst the presence of an audience of over 1000. The Brand Ambassador for Enable the Disabled Foundation is popular music artist, Dushyanth Weeraman who is set to perform at the event and will be joined by the likes of performing artists such as Bhathiya and Santhush, Mariazelle Goonatilleke, Rukshan Perera, Lahiru Perera, Kingsouth, Sahan Ranwala, Stephanie Siriwardhana and Imani Perera.
Children and individuals with disabilities will also be set to showcase their performances and the audience will witness disabled children and adults from places such as the School for the Deaf, School for the Blind, ACT4, Diri Daru Piyasa, children from the Lyceum International School, Chitra Lane School and the Wheel Chair Dance Sport Association.
The show will not only help showcase the talents of children and adults with disabilities but will also help to build awareness and encourage the public to include persons with disabilities in mainstream economic and social activities as well.
Commenting on the upcoming event, Project Co-Chairperson, Jazaya Hassendeen stated, “There are only a few restrictions on accessing the tools of art. However, musical instruments, paintbrushes, pencils or video cameras are fairly adaptable. Since art is infinite and unconditional, people with disabilities are free to express themselves without physical, social, or attitudinal barriers.”
She also explained that if this value is inculcated in these children from a very young age it will then be carried to adulthood and the next generation will be different to what they are today. “Social and economic inclusion is something that children and adults with disabilities have to advocate or fight for today,” he acknowledged.
The proceeds of the event will be utilized towards funding the project ‘Play for All” initiated by the Foundation where existing children’s parks will gradually be upgraded to include equipment that would also cater to children with disabilities. A location has been identified in Colombo to initiate the first of such parks in the near future.