The Voice of Saksham 2022

Saksham organised the “Voice of Saksham” singing competition for young visually impaired people of three states: Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh, to bring out their musical talents. A whopping 44 participants came in from the three states, and the five highly qualified judges reportedly found the competition an absolute nail-biter. After much deliberation, three top position holders were picked out from each state, and were set to receive a laptop, a tablet, and a DAISY player respectively. The finale of the competition was held on June 27th, 2022, to commemorate the 142nd birthday of Helen Keller, who remains a cultural touchstone for the disability community even now.

The event was widely publicised, and received significant participation both on Zoom and YouTube live stream. After the opening remarks, the five judges were invited to share their impressions of the competition. They unanimously expressed the opinion that picking out winners among the many fabulous performances had been a tall order indeed, and that they had done their very best to do justice to that task. Judges also commented favourably on the quality of the recordings, on the students’ grasp of rhythm and melody, and the versatility of genres in the submissions received. Overall, they shared that they found the performances an absolute treat to the eyes and the ears.

The Voice of Saksham | Sing your heart out!

This was followed by the announcement of results. The submitted video clips of all nine winners were also played during the result announcement, which lent an air of festivity to the event. Some participants had karaoke accompaniment, others had instrumental accompaniment, and still others preferred to go completely solo. The chief guest’s address proceeded the playback of the performances, wherein Dr. Meenu Chopra expressed her delight and happiness at being invited to the event. Mr. Kuldeep from Saksham then spoke about the emerging Saksham Shimla project, and acknowledged the pivotal role that Mr. Ajai Shrivastava had played in facilitating the education of visually impaired people in Himachal Pradesh. Mr. Shrivastava then took over, outlining his work in the accessible library project and his involvement in the process of making elections in Himachal Pradesh accessible. His experiences with doing disability advocacy situates him as a firm ally to the disability community, and he affirmed as much, when he offered to help with advocacy in the regions of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

Mr. Dipendra Manocha, Founder-trustee of Saksham, then addressed the gathering. Mr. Manocha views blindness as solely a medical condition, and he attributes the disabling nature of blindness to existing discriminatory social factors, as also affirmed by the social model of disability. He believes in limiting limitations, independent reading-writing, and in using assistive technology to find independent living solutions for blind people. He encouraged the people listening to reach out to the Saksham helpline for any blindness-related assistance. Contact details of the same can be found at www.saksham.org.

The event was sponsored by Canara Bank, with whose generous support Saksham could award laptops, tablets, and DAISY Players as first, second and third prizes to the 3 winners from each participating state, to encourage digital empowerment of students. Deepak Kumar (Haryana), Radhika Ahuja (Punjab), and Ravi (Himachal Pradesh) won the first prize. Saima (Haryana), Ranjan (Punjab), and Kuldeep Kondal (Himachal Pradesh) bagged the second prize. Shadma (Haryana), Veer Singh (Punjab), and Srishti Chauhan (Himachal Pradesh) secured the third position. Our heartiest congratulations to all the winners, and three cheers to all the participants who made the event such a success!

Read more – https://saksham.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Voice-of-Saksham-and-Singing-competition-Media-Coverage.pdf

Press Release – https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/jalandhar/online-singing-contest-for-visually-impaired-407563

Published by Saksham

Saksham Trust is a not - for - profit organisation, established in 2003. The sole aim of the trust is to empower persons belonging to this marginalised section of society through a variety of strategies. India has more than 14 million persons with blindness and low vision and above 70 million persons who cannot read normal print due to some sort of disability. A range of services needed to be provided to such persons for their social and economic mainstream into society. Saksham is guided by the Vision of a sensitised and motivated society that acknowledges the value of interdependence and appreciates the abilities of persons with blindness and multiple disabilities and willingly provides equal opportunities for all.

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