In the spirit of festival, students surmount disabilities

Against odds, many students suffering from ailments and physical barriers emerge role models at the 61st edition of the State School Arts festival

January 07, 2023 06:59 pm | Updated 07:43 pm IST - Kozhikode

Adithyan Sunil, a paraplegic student who won A grade in Hindi elocution at the State School Arts Festival, performs for the audience after accepting his trophy.

Adithyan Sunil, a paraplegic student who won A grade in Hindi elocution at the State School Arts Festival, performs for the audience after accepting his trophy. | Photo Credit: K Ragesh

On a stage set for inclusive celebration of arts, they turned their adversities into opportunities demonstrating the true spirit of the State School Arts Festival. Apart from the high grades they secured, they proved that nothing is impossible for students with strong determination.

Adithyan Sunil, a high school student from Kannur who bagged A grade in Hindi elocution, was one among them braving his paraplegic condition. The boy from a remote village in Naduvil panchayat secured his dream victory with consistent support of his teacher-parents.

“No one can imagine the struggle of the boy to attend regular classes and other daily activities. He made us proud with a daring fight to surmount his disabilities. Our village is in celebration mode,” says Nikhil Jose, a local resident.

S.S. Avani, a native of Thiruvananthapuram who secured A grade in classical music, stepped on to the venue with the confidence of a proud cancer survivor. The girl who had put up creditable performances in various items at the last festival as well as bearing the brunt of multiple chemotherapy sessions bounced back to the stage in 2023 with full energy. Her parents D. Sivapraad and D.K. Sajitha were a constant support on the sidelines.

Sunu Sabu, a Plus Two student from Pathanamthitta, came to Kozhikode to participate in classical dance events daring Type-2 diabetes. Though her fluctuating sugar level was a concern for her parents and teachers, she conquered the stage with her strong will. Similarly, the top performers in mimicry were two visually challenged higher secondary students — V. Abhishek of Kasaragod and Najah from Malappuram.

“There were more than 20 contestants, including the visually challenged, who came to the festival with serious difficulties. They could have easily backed out with their personal justifications, but they performed like others and emerged role models,” said one of the coordinators of the fest. He said the courage of the students to appear on a general platform with high competitive spirit was admirable.

The festival coordinators said arrangements were in place at the venues to make such students comfortable and perform well. To inspire such contestants, there were even special guests and artistes around who had triumphed over such challenging moments in life.

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