Physically Challenged but Mentally Strongby Sukanya Sudarson September 14 2018, 5:07 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 52 secs
The only disability in life is a bad attitude. - Scott Hamilton
When you hear the term ‘physically challenged’, what is the image that comes to your mind? Are you reminded of a person walking with a white cane, a little girl wearing a hearing aid, a young boy on a wheel chair? Someone who needs others’ assistance to perform his or her daily activities? Someone who needs to be helped? Someone who is weak and vulnerable?
Well, all that idea will change after you watch this video.
You are shocked, aren’t you? Well, dumbstruck, will describe better! These are the differently abled artists from the We Are One Charitable Trust who believe there is nothing impossible in this world and that dance has no barriers. The artists perform on wheel chairs and crutches and are accompanied by female artists who are hearing and speech impaired.
We Are One (WAO) is a registered charitable non-profit organization, effectively making physically and psychologically challenged persons lead independent lives. The aim of the organization is to offer an equal opportunity to people with different physical challenges. WAO aims to give an international reorganization and platform to the differently-abled in the field of art and culture. The organization also aims to break the barriers for persons with disability.
classical mood on wheels
Since the inception of We Are One, the organization has been working towards creating awareness through dance and cultural rehabilitation. The WAO artists make the only institution which has presented outstanding innovative performances on wheels across the world. WAO figures in the Guinness Book of World Records for its outstanding performance by doing the most number of spins on a wheelchair in a minute.
The WAO artists have also performed in many TV reality shows like Dance India Dance, Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega, and India’s Got Talent and have done a special performance for the Indian television talk show with Aamir Khan, Satyamev Jayate. In every presentation the artists have undertaken, they have done it in the pretext of motivating other differently abled people.
The artists of this unique dance group have many feathers in their hat. Some of the other achievements of the organization include registering their name in the The Dance India and the Shaurya Achiever Award for raising hopes in the field of dance for the hearing impaired. They have also performed internationally in, among others, the UK, Washington DC, New York, Florida, Canada, and Singapore to just name a few.
One of the most prominent features of the group’s performances is its audience interaction segment, where members of the audience can get up close with the artistes on stage. This helps adults and children alike to develop an understanding and sensitivity towards seeing ability over disability in the society. The determination and hard work of the artists encourages the young and the old to value their own gift of life and pursue their dreams. Their performances have always left a lasting impact on the audience.
The founder of the group, Mr. Husnain, who was conferred appreciation from President of India, says, “As we started to address this situation, we realized, this wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg. There was much more needed to instill courage and ability in the physically and psychologically challenged. They do not require mercy from the society but an equal opportunity. WAO’s humble start to get a platform benefited many coming together from all walks of life to help fulfill their dreams.”
“Despite our sincere efforts, the reality is grim. There are still many stigmas associated with the disabled. There is a dearth of efforts taken to provide opportunities to the differently abled people, who might believe their life is purposeless and meaningless just because they were born handicapped. WAO provides them the opportunity to make their life motivated”, says Husnain.
Though the efforts of the organization are plausible, it is however not enough. The only difference between the physically normal and the challenged lies in the fact that for them, every day is a challenge and that they wish and hope to overcome, what we take for granted. As a society, blessed with the ability to overcome these every day challenges, the least we can do is support them by helping them realize their challenges and support them to overcome it.
You can support and engage with this organization, click this link: