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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Dr Harsh Vardhan for Research on Better AIDS for Differently-Abled - New Delhi

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology, said here today that he would orient scientific research in India to help making the lives of differently-abled children more meaningful. 

He pledged on the occasion of Children’s Day, “Creative expression tools, especially instruments that unite music with computer technology, can help differently-abled children pursue innate talents that go unrecognised. I will commission an open project supervised by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to encourage people to conduct private as well as public-funded research into this area.” 

Addressing an international festival of music, art and yoga for differently-abled children from 16 countries here today, Dr Harsh Vardhan pointed out that 21 million Indians, or about 2 percent of the population, have some sort of disability or the other. 

While the government is doing its level best to secure social and economic rights for the differently-abled, it is the duty of scientists to probe their unique needs and bring out solutions. These could then be offered to industry because the market of the differently-abled is quite large in India. 

Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “After seeing the participants at the event, their commitment to music despite their circumstances, I am inspired to turn a page in the history of my Ministry. Under the Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ project, I will endeavour to achieve technological breakthroughs in technology for the benefit of the world’s differently-abled population. 

India has produced many great musicians through history. To the present generation Ravindra Jain and Baluji Srivastav enjoy instant recognition. There are possibly hundreds of other talented musicians who cannot exploit their talent because of the lack of affordable musical equipment. 

He said, “India could become a hub for manufacture of wheelchairs, crutches and other aids on the one hand. On the other hand, we could introduce new musical instruments which emulate traditional orchestra counterparts –like special pianos, trumpets, violins, percussion instruments, sitar, veena, etc.” 

He noted that since India is already an information technology superpower, it would not be difficult to develop the right equipment which would enable the musical enthusiasts among the differently-abled to express their creative impulses. 

Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “I will declare an open invitation to experts from the fields of music and IT to develop these instruments. The successful developers will be allowed to retain the patent rights. India can gradually become a world leader in this business which is already emerging in the West but whose products are too expensive for our market.” 

The three-day event, “Sambhav 2014”, is being organised by Association for Learning Performing Arts and Normative Action (ALPANA), and has differently-abled child participants from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

It would feature daily evening performances by the musicians, an exhibition of paintings and artefacts, a seminar on “working with challenged artists—experience in different cultures” and a Yoga workshop for challenged artists. Prof. H.R Nagendra, vice-chancellor of S-Vyasa University, Bengaluru, would be conducting the Yoga workshop. 

Dr Harsh Vardhan also attended a function organised by North Delhi Municipal Corporation to celebrate Children’s Day. 

He said on the occasion that he would put in place the institution of the Science Fair for students of Delhi’s corporation and Sarvodaya schools. “Science fairs are the first forums in the lives of future scientists and technologists. It is time this movement is seriously initiated in the government schools system of Delhi. It would help spread the scientific temper among the new generation.”

Source : India Education Diary , 15th Nov 2014 

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