Creating a special experience for 400 underprivileged and differently abeled children especially girls, through performing arts, to communicate the themes of inclusion, bullying , inter-faith dialogue and environmental sustainability.
At India Islamic Centre and Mouunt Carmel school Delhi
138 A block Dayanand colony lajpatnagar 4 new delhi 110024
United Religions Initiative: North India and Afghanistan region / +91-8800226836UDAAN 2018 The Cambridge English Dictionary defines ‘harmony’ as “a pleasant musical sound made by different notes being played or sung at the same time”. We at URI-North Zone (India and Afghanistan) (a global grassroots interfaith network, working in the field of religions and cultures towards peace building and conflict transformation) have organised- ‘Udaan- a flight towards a new dawn’ that is to be embarked upon by kids from different backgrounds on a singular path- that of peace and compassion. The driving ideals behind the event and the organisation at large are ‘inclusivity’, ‘co-operation’ and ‘peaceful-coexistence’. Children are the building blocks of ‘future’ and hence any attempt at bringing forth harmony must begin with providing them a space where they can realize their full potential. On the 27th of January 2018, we at URI along with 15 different organisations have therefore invited children from all backgrounds- under-privileged, differently-abled, orphaned, HIV affected to join us for an evening filled with fun. Our motive is to ensure a lasting smile on the faces of those standing last in the queue. The feeling of neglect and discrimination that arise from living in a Third World country such as ours, can hinder a child’s capabilities and put them in a box. This ‘inability’ to live a certain kind of life, hinders the child from exploring their full potential and leaves them feeling dejected and isolated. This is why we shall bring these children to the fore and situate them in the centre of the stage as people with lived experiences and not merely stories of depravity. Our aim is to bring a total of 400 (approximate) children and create an experience for them that lingers in their subconscious and helps them overcome the negative experiences of ‘rejection’, and ‘discrimination’ that they have been conditioned to normalise. We at URI, want to tell the children on this day that they shall never be brushed aside again, that their opinion counts and that their lived experience and their aspirations shall together set the parameters for change in how the society functions. The idea of Udaan is not to merely engage in charity but ensure that the kids, through relatable and engaging multitude of performances (story telling, puppetry and music in the company of the crème-de-la-crème of Delhi) are able to come together as one harmonious sound and are able to shake off the years of negativity. Prior to Udaan, we at URI North Zone collaborated with Womens’ Regional Network (WRN) and took up the project of marking the absence of women from our public spaces. Women and children happen to be the most exploited and affected sections of society and often have no voice in the brutal ‘man’s world’. As a part of #16DaysOfActivism, we organised a photography contest that saw participation from across the borders, with the theme “Leave No One behind: Women, Peace and Security”. Starting from 25th November (The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) continuing up to 10th December (Human Rights Day) we used photographs to reiterate that WOMENS’ RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS. Aligning with the 2017 UN theme “Leave No One Behind”, WRN and URI emphasised for a gender-just peaceful society. The major focus of our submissions saw how a female experiences public life in South Asia- by being ‘invisible’ more often than not. With Udaan we hope to complete the cycle and strive towards a harmonious dawn of love and peace, to create a world best put in Tagore’s words- “Where the mind is without fear and head held high.”