In order to create awareness about disabilities and to promote inclusion, Offbeat Carnival, a Delhi-based NGO, in association with the Enabling Unit of St. Stephen’s College is organizing a walkathon on April 4 at the St. Stephen’s College Lawns.
Offbeat Carnival was formed by a group of people who believe that disability is just a state of mind and people with disabilities are no less than the rest of us. This group aims to provide platforms to unveil the unexplored talents of the differently abled. They organize various events to promote inclusion.
Called Walkathon: Blindfolded Trust Walk, this is a one of a kind event which aims to promote inclusivity of differently abled persons.
“We aim to help people see and understand that people with disabilities are in no way less than others and are capable of being a part of mainstream. We need to change the mindsets of people who only look at disabilities and not beyond that,” said Pooja Banga, Founder, Offbeat Carnival.
The Walkathon uses the concept of buddy system. A buddy pair is formed with one sighted runner and one visually impaired runner. In a case where both runners are sighted, one has to wear a blindfold. Both partners are tethered at wrist and the sighted buddy is supposed to guide them around the track. The team which takes the shortest time to reach the finish line will be the winner.
Talking about the Walkathon, Rakshit Mallik, President, Enabling Unit, St. Stephen’s College said “This is a new concept and a fun thing to do for us.” He further added, “We are super excited about the event and the walkathon will be great opportunity to change the mindsets of people towards disabilities.
Students from Delhi University, athletes, marathon runners, several local businesses and families are invited to participate in this event.
The next thing on Offbeat Carnival’s agenda is a walkathon to create awareness about visual impairments. They are also promoting a book called the Tactile Guitar Chord Book which has been developed by students of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. This book’s aim is to help visually impaired people learn music.