Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
10-January-2014 17:39 IST
SAMARTH 2014 – A Curtain Raiser

Draft Note for the Chief Guest

SAMARTH 2014 – Celebrating Diversity is a national festival for showcasing the abilities of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) is being organized by the Department of Disability Affairs under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India during 15 – 16 January, 2014 at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi.  This event will be inaugurated by Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, United Progressive Alliance.

As per Census 2011, there are 2.68 crore persons with disabilities and constitute 2.22 percent of the total population of the country. The persons with disabilities form a very diverse group and include persons with impairments such as visual (18.8%), hearing (18.9%), speech (7.5%), loco- motor (20.3%), mental retardation (5.6%) mental illness (2.7%) and multiple disability (7.9%).

            The Constitution of India ensures equality, freedom, justice and dignity of all individuals and implicitly mandates an inclusive society for all including persons with disabilities. The Government recognises that persons with disabilities are valuable human resource for the country and seeks to create an environment that provides them equal opportunities, protection of their rights and full participation.  

            The Department of Disability Affairs under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment’s mandate and rehabilitation and empowerment of PwDs. As rehabilitation is multidisciplinary, the Department has adopted a multi-pronged collaborative approach involving all the appropriate partners: Governments/UTs, Central/State undertakings, local authorities, NGOs etc.

            India has also signed and ratified the United Nations Convention for protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Among the many commitments towards the said Convention, a major one is building capacity among people with disabilities and raising awareness about disability issues. SAMARTH is an important step in this direction.

            The objectives of organizing Samarth are to showcase the abilities and potential of PwDs; create awareness about their rights and entitlements; and provide PwDs and those working for them an opportunity for an interface with each other.

The contents of the National Festival are –


National Programme of Dance and Music       15th & 16th January, 2014

Colors of Ability

-           Art works and

-           Products made by PwDs

15th & 16th January, 2014


-        Abilympics

-          Craftsmen in           action

-          Aids and    Assistive Devices

15th & 16th January, 2014

Film Festival on Disability related themes     16th January 2014

Valedictory Function for Distribution of prizes 16th January 2014