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News Chennai Province (INM)

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Chennai celebrates International Disability Day with a Short Film Festival
By John Christy SDB
Chennai, Dec. 5. The Province of Chennai celebrated the International Disability Day, 3rd December, with a grand Short Film Festival dedicated to people with disabilities. The festival named ``Thiran`` (ability) 2016 saw 163 entries of which 25 ``best films`` were shortlisted by the jury for screening and 15 were selected for awards under various categories. Over 1000 participants, including 700 persons with disabilities, took part in the event held at Don Bosco Auditorium at Egmore on 27 November.
The films portrayed the struggles and strengths of the differently abled and highlighted the need to promote the rights of persons with physical and psycho-social disabilities. The festival highlighted the point that disability is not to be viewed as a ``deficit`` but as part of nature`s diversity. They also called for greater participatory roles for the differently abled persons in the State`s policy making process that affect them. The festival was also an effort at motivating and encouraging media persons to create greater awareness among the public about disability issues and to help promote the rights of the differently abled.
Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, General Councillor for South Asia region, in his inaugural address congratulated the organizers and participants of the event. He had special words of admiration for the numerous differently abled persons who were present at the event. They are the real heroes of our times, he said; despite the apathy and insensitivity of the general public, these valiant boys and girls, men and women, show us how to face life`s challenges with courage, hope and optimism. The rest of the society is truly indebted to them.
A special attraction at the festival was a documentary film produced by DBICA on a heroic woman named Suguna whose entire life has been dedicated to take care of six of her brothers and sisters, all of whom suffer from serious disabilities. Suguna considers herself privileged and believes that God has preserved her and given her good health in order to look after her helpless siblings. It was indeed a moving story that warmed the cockles of everyone`s heart.
Among the celebrities who joined the festival were Kukkoo Director Raju Murugan, Film Director cum Editor B. Lenin, Mr. Prabakaran, Attorney, Supreme Court of India, and V. Balakrishnan IPS Deputy Commissioner of Police.

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