Bengaluru: 200 persons with various disabilities attended the Christmas and New Year programme, organised by the Bangalore Archdiocesan Commission for the differently abled on January 10, at the Archbishop’s house. It was the first time that a special Christmas and New Year programme was organised for the differently abled in the Archdiocese.
A commission to take care of the spiritual and other needs of the differently abled was created for the first time in the country in any Diocese in Bangalore this year. Arch Bishop Dr Bernard Moras said that “ I took personal interest in starting the Commission after seeing the care being taken by Pope Francis in several occasions for the differently abled persons in Rome.”
Vicar General Fr Jayanathan interacted with the group which consisted of differently abled persons and their family members and caretakers to find out their expectations from the Commission and the Archdiocese at large. Four major proposals were given by the group:
.To have accessibility in Church and other institutions
.To provide assistance for education and training
.To ensure that spiritual practices like sacraments are provided
.To have regular forum for interaction
Archbishop Bernard Moras in his address assured that all the proposals made by the group will be implemented in the Archdiocese. He said that ramps would be created in all our institutions and that help will be provided for education of the differently abled. He assured that spiritual practices and sacraments were a right of all persons. Archbishop promised that programs to foster interaction will be organised regularly through the Commission.
The program was a great display of the talents of the differently abled. The students from the Sophia Opportunity School started the program with a welcome song. The members from the Jyothi Seva centre performed melodious carol songs in English. The dance program by the inmates of Ashadeep of entertained everyone.
Several parents and caretakers expressed their appreciation to the Archdiocese for showing concern about the situation of the differently abled. They expressed their interest to engage further in such programmes.
Steve Gerald, a differently abled student from Sophia Opportunity School thanked the Archbishop and the members of the Commission consisting of Fr George Kannanthanam, Fr Naveen, Sr Prabha, Mr Shaji and Mr Jose for organising the programme.