Kanniga’s lilting voice and soulful rendition of a popular song touched the hearts of listeners as they were awed by the visually impaired girl’s talent and passion.

She was one among several differently abled youngsters who participated in Youth Fest 2013 organised by Team of Social Service (TOSS) at Bishop Heber College on Sunday.

The college auditorium was filled with enthusiastic participants above the age of 15, who danced, sang, drew pictures, and performed mono-acting with passion during the one-day cultural event.

The competitions were conducted at solo and group categories, and prizes were awarded to the winners.

Physically disabled, autistic, vision, hearing and speech impaired, and mentally challenged youth were the heroes and heroines of the day. Arivalayam, Asha Deepam, Holy Cross Service Society, Holy Cross Integrated, Santosh Special School, Dolphin Special School, Udaya Special School, Holy Cross College, and Bishop Heber College were the participating institutions.

Three differently abled persons, Hari Krishnan, revenue inspector, Tiruverumbur, M.Vivekanandhan, State secretary, Public Voice, and Marikannan from district differently abled development association motivated the youngsters by sharing their experiences at the valediction.

Mr. Hari Krishnan said, “We should create a different society, one that welcomes differently abled with open arms and encourages them to leave a mark.”

He also quoted instances from the lives of famous personalities, who were disabled, but created a name for themselves such as Helen Keller and Sudha Chandran.

“Every differently abled person has the power to create history. We are all the eighth wonders of the world,” said Mr. Vivekanandhan asking youth to never lose hope.

Sai Prashanth, president, TOSS, and Shamshir Hussain, vice president, TOSS, along with the members of TOSS were present.