Anjali commenced as a project for showcasing the potential of children with disabilities to mainstream society in 2001.The avid interest of mainstream school students saw it transforming into an inclusive children festival in 2003 and finally the only national children festival in 2004 and now an international festival since2012. On the one hand it is an effort to empower children who had been stigmatized and oppressed so they may participate fully in society and on the other hand it focuses on bridging gaps by enabling disabled and non-disabled children; rural and urban children; private school and government schoolchildren; underprivileged and advantaged children; rich and poor children; to discover each other in five days camp.
Aim of Anjali
TO RESTORE FUN FILLED CHILDHOOD AND TO CREATE BRIDGES FOR AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY
• Inclusive Education
• Interactive rather than black-board teaching
• New ediums of Joyful Learning
• Breezing the Gaps
Components of Anjali
Anjali Camp, Anjali Awards and Anjali Scholarships.
When there no boundaries and no restrictions for learning, and instead of the boring routines, it’s the freedom to choose and learn something new and interesting unfurls a unique emotion of participation and happiness. Our workshops are conceptualized on this principle of joyful learning. Anjali encourages children to listen to each other’s story and learn to respect each other – beyond language, country, religion, disability etc. Experiencing the challenges of disability (this simulation activity aims making the non disabled children and aware of the challenges faced by children with disabilities in their day to day life), inter-school competitions, hobby display, festivals of joy (the celebration of festivals, one every day, make children understand that all religions speak only one language – the language of love), evening cultural programs by children, exhibitions ( Scientific and cultural), carnival of love, magic show, game zone, star gazing, meeting celebrities, funny games, cartoons etc. are other components of the festival. Anjali is also a platform where children get an opportunity to present their talent before an audience of their age, understand respecting diversity and above all take back with them memories for lifetime.
Milestones of Anjali
2001 First ANJALI
2002 Participation of mainstream school students, and children with disability from outside Odisha
2003 Volunteering of college students through NSS begins Representative participation from all (30) districts of Odisha
2004 Transforms to become First National Children's Festival in India. Become theme based.
2005 Establishes itself as a model for inclusive and Joyful Learning
2006 Moves beyond geographical boundary of Bhubaneswar ( Held at Rourkela in District Sundargarh)
2008 Focus on Volunteerism
2009 Gets a Mascot
2010 Carnival of Love
2012 First International Festival
2015 Anjali Brand Ambassador
2016 Disability Arts Festival - "Swayam"
2017 City Embraces Anjali
2018 Rechristened as Anjali International Children & Youth Festival.
Panel Discussions introduced.
Maiden Gallery of Entrepreneurs with disabilities.