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Bhopal Shatabdi trains carry social messages

Thursday June 30, 2011 06:44:40 PM, Shahnawaz Akhtar, IANS

Bhopal: Starting Friday, the Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express train will be adorned with posters urging people to pay attention to an often neglected section of the society - the differently-abled children.

An initiative of city-based NGO Arushi, the posters' carry lines penned by Bollywood lyricist and poet Gulzar.

Divisional Railway Manager Ashwini Lohani said: "The main reason for putting posters of Arushi children is to sensitise the society towards these kids. Passengers will see the posters from July 1."

"The motive behind these posters is to tell everyone that these differently-abled people are also part of society and they don't need sympathy, but love and smiles," Sapna, executive coordinator of Arushi, told IANS.

Arushi is working since 1992 for the inclusion of disabled people of all age groups into the mainstream of society. Its Bhopal centre imparts education to around 150 disabled kids, many from below poverty line (BPL) families.

Gulzar, who has visited Arushi's Bhopal centre four times so far, writes in one of the posters, "Aap kuch kahenge to sunenge, sunenge to bolenge" (If you speak, we'll listen, and if we listen, we can speak), trying to capture the anguish of the disabled children.

"We are very happy with these steps of our centre. It creates awareness among people. It also gives them the message that we are not sitting idle, but living like everyone else," Rajendra Dhurvey, a visually challenged boy, told IANS.

Rajendra, who features in one of the posters, smiles broadly as he says that he has secured 80 percent marks in his senior secondary examinations.

"We have personal attachment with Gulzar uncle... he talks to everyone and spends time with us," he added.

Another visually challenged boy Kamal Bhamore said it gave the differently-abled children like him a sense of empowerment to know that people were being told about them.

"It is good, as majority of the people think we cannot do anything, but after this initiative, perhaps they too will know that we are capable of living with dignity," he said.






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