Ten years on, the march towards an inclusive society continues!
What are the words you see in this painting? India Inclusion Foundation is obvious…but there are 57 more words (given below). Try finding them!
– [ ] Ability — [ ] Acceptance — [ ] Accessibility — [ ] Art
– [ ] Beautiful — [ ] Brave — [ ] Community — [ ] Compassion
– [ ] Courage — [ ] Creative — [ ] Dedication — [ ] Destiny
– [ ] Diversity — [ ] Dream — [ ] Education — [ ] Empowerment
– [ ] Everyone — [ ] Family — [ ] Fellows — [ ] Focus
– [ ] Friendship — [ ] Future — [ ] Give — [ ] Grateful
– [ ] Healthy — [ ] Heart — [ ] Heroes — [ ] Home
– [ ] Identity — [ ] Inclusion Revolution — [ ] Inspire — [ ] Invisible
– [ ] Kind — [ ] Learn — [ ] Light — [ ] Limitless
– [ ] Listen — [ ] Love — [ ] Mindful — [ ] Movement
– [ ] Now — [ ] Opportunities — [ ] Passion — [ ] Patience
– [ ] Perseverance — [ ] Possibilities — [ ] Progress — [ ] Relationships
– [ ] Resilience — [ ] Story — [ ] Strength — [ ] Talented
-[ ] Team — [ ] Together — [ ] Understanding — [ ] Unity – [ ] Valuable
As I reflected on the 10-year journey of hosting the India Inclusion Summit (IIS), I was helped by my artist friend from New York, Marco Santini. He was keen to create a distinctive work of art that captured the ethos of our ongoing inclusion movement. This was in line with our annual practice of opening the IIS with a painting on which all the speakers marked their signatures. Here are the previous years’ paintings .
This year, since we postponed the 10th anniversary celebrations to 2022 (because of COVID-19), we wanted a painting that would signify the overall spirit of our inclusion journey. Marco patiently watched the IIS videos from the previous years and noted down the words most frequently used by the speakers. In the world of computing, we call this creating a “word cloud”. He then went on to make this unique piece of art that encompasses these words surrounding the IIF logo (birds of different colors).
Here is the video of the painting that Marco Santini made, which captures the essence of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers in a decade of making the world a more inclusive space.
When we hosted the first India Inclusion Summit (IIS) on 3 December 2012 we had never imagined that IIS would become an annual pilgrimage for many. What started as a humble beginning has now become a movement with multiple initiatives like The Inclusion Fellowships (TIF), Art for Inclusion (AFI), Inclusive Walkathon, Friend Raising Evening (FRE), Let’s Include (in partnership with BISFF) and the most recent and ongoing photo campaign, Everyone is Good at Something (EGS). I have tried to capture all my learnings in my new book (co-authored with CK Meena) “The Invisible Majority: India’s Abled Disabled”
In these 10 years, the world we live in has changed dramatically. We have moved to a digital-first world, wealth is now concentrated in the hands of even fewer people than before, climate change is dangerously close and we have learnt to live with a pandemic. People with disabilities have remained at the fringes and making India and the world inclusive has become more important than ever.
As we march towards an inclusive India by 2030 where no one is left behind, the road ahead is not going to be easy. Among the many issues that are crying for attention, we need to make our voices heard even louder to spread awareness for inclusion. I hope each one of you joins us in our mission of building a more equitable and inclusive world.