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Dhoon Foundation Creates a Platform to Empower PwDs with Support of MAHIR

August 17th, 2016 by

“Don’t be pushed around by your problems. Be led by your Dreams.”

The government right now is giving a lot of stress on ‘Skill India’ where every citizen of the country is able to earn a decent living by developing the potential skills in him. The same holds true for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), who are capable of doing a lot if their skills get properly developed and their efforts reach to a maximum number of people.

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Dhoon Foundation is the result of efforts of Ms. Kavita Kumar, who gave a thought for working for Persons with Autism after her daughter Benzy was discovered with the similar problem. Initially declared as good as dead, Ms Kumar saw a ray of hope when her little daughter, Benzy responded positively to music therapy and there has been no looking back since then. 17Today, thanks to what Ms. Kumar calls Music Therapy, Benzy has got a new life of sorts and while she couldn’t even speak properly at a given point of time, has become a nightingale of India. Being a PwDs, singing wasn’t very easy for her but with a strong will; she overcame her speech impairment to record her own album at the age of 10, Basic Ragas. One the first person to recognize the musical talent named in the Limca Book of Record was classical singer Shubha Mudgal, who after listening to this singer decided to share the stage with her and perform with her in a classical show. Her voice, which touches the soul directly, has equally impressed the legends of the world of music including Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, both of whom have appreciated her efforts and the owners of music labels Nupur Audio, who have brought out another audio recording of Benzy called ‘Koshish’. It’s not only the people in the world of music but even the former President of India late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam also recognized and appreciated the soulful voice of Benzy, by facilitating her with a National Award For Persons with Disabilities in 2004.

book of records limca benzy  Banzy Ragasragas cover page-001 First-National-Award

The kind of success she has achieved with her Autistic daughter could have made any mother feel proud and contended but this is not the case with Ms. Kavita Kumar. She recently organized a musical evening at Indian Islamic Centre in New Delhi called ‘Choona Aasmaan’, where she brought together singers with different kind of disabilities apart from Autism, who took a packed house of audiences to another world altogether with their mesmerizing voices. While you may think that a young girl like Benzy would choose some peppy and foot taping number to showcase her talent to the audience, Benzy chose a semi-classical number like ‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ from the film Rudali, which cannot be easily sung even by established singers. Other singers, some of whom had even performed on Television shows like Meri Awaaz Suno on Doordarshan also stole the heart of the audience with their performances.

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The Chief Guest at the event, Salma Ansari, wife of Hon’ble Vice President of India, Mohammad Hamid Ansari congratulated Ms. Kavita and her daughter Benzy for the remarkable work they were both involved in. While speaking on the occasion, Ms. Ansari who is also commonly known as ‘Woman of Her Own Mind’ said, “The world today is getting full of negativity and hatred. This event is a tribute to human love within the human being which is the only real means of overcoming the hatred getting spread around the world today.”10

The occasion also marked the launch of the first online portal ‘Mahir’ by ‘We The People India’ would serve as a link between PwDs and organizations which make these products and the ultimate consumer. This online portal will highlight the skills of those PwDs who have another kind of skills apart from singing but have not got an appropriate platform to showcase it. As the former Chairperson of National Trust for Persons with Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, Mental illness and Autism, Ms. Poonam Natrajan puts it, “It’s a great initiative. I wish both the Dhoon Foundation and MAHIR all the best.9

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