The National Council of Churches in India – Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment organized “Christmas of People with Disabilities” on 1st December 2018 at the NCCI Campus, Civil Lines, Nagpur. This is an annual celebration of the Children with Disabilities celebrating Christmas for others. This celebration is organized on the eve of the Advent (Christmas) Season every year, thereby setting off Christmas Celebrations in the city.
This celebration is to remember a child (Jesus) who was born during the cold winter in the wilderness of Judea as a migrant child. His birth heralded glad tidings of great Joy to all creation; the joy of inclusion and social justice – the justice of bringing the wise men and shepherds together. Thus, began the Christmas celebration, in the NCCI campus, with a gathering of over 350 people including over 200 Children and People with Disabilities; it was indeed a grand event. The children with disabilities and the persons with disabilities, who gave expression to the good news of the season, ornamented this celebration. The Children with Disabilities (CWD) in particular, enthralled the audience with their dances, songs and enactments, through which they declared the Gospel of inclusion to the people present at the celebration.
Several faith-based and secular organizations that promote, propagate and inculcate the culture of inclusivity in the societies at large, participated in this celebration, namely Ashirwad Kanti, Jeevoday Special School, Prerana Social Development Welfare Soci
ety, Untkhana – Home for the Aged and Disabled, SAKSHAM, CNI – Social Service Institute, Shramdeep, St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary and Talking Hands Restaurant.
The Story of Christmas and the message on inclusions were articulated in a manner in which the Children with Disabilities understood it. They showcased an Autistic Joseph, a Down-Syndrome Mary, a Commodified Baby Jesus, and Santa on a Wheel-Chair. This radical yet conventional Christmas message intrigued the hearts of the ‘abled-audience’ who attended the Christmas Extravaganza. At the end of the program the CWDs and PWDs received gifts from the hands of the Santa on wheel-chair.