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Knowledge Centre attracts audience in large numbers

Anil Sharan: Never give up, keep rocking

James Casaki: Let nothing stop you from enjoying life to its full

Inspiring stories, shared by individuals with disabilities, touched many hearts at AccessAbilities Expo 2016.

Narrating his life experiences, Sharan Anil, an artist at Mawaheb for Beautiful People, told the audience how he went to a regular school for many years and due to muscular dystrophy he lost his ability to stand without aid.

“I was 18 years old when I was assigned to a wheelchair. I had no choice as I could not stand. I felt embarrassed and noticed that people had started ignoring me,” he said.

However, Anil was not the one to give up. He discovered his talent for painting and went on to hone his talents at Mawaheb from Beautiful People, an art studio for People with Special Needs. The studio is suitably located in the culturally rich Al Bastakiya region in Bur Dubai.

“All was not lost. I never knew I had this talent for painting. I am happy I went to Mawaheb where I as trained and given the opportunity to explore my creativity. All I can tell people who have lost hope is to never give up and keep on rocking,” said Anil.

The narration of his life story left the audience at the Knowledge Centre emotional.

The Knowledge Centre sessions attracted a large number of international speakers who will be speaking on a common platform with the aim of empowering People with Special Needs.

AccessAbilities Expo is being organised by Reed Exhibitions and Nadd AlShiba PR and Event Management.

Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said: “AccessAbilities Expo has brought businesses, government, individuals and families together on a common platform. The Expo has also given a platform for all to connect and we are very pleased to see the difference it is making in the attitude and perspectives.”

For James Casaki, a 28-year-old Dubai resident, who has Kabuki Syndrome, said he never, let any condition stop him from enjoying and doing things in life like everyone else.

“I spent a good part of my growing up period in hospital – until the age of 14. I grew tired of receiving injections everyday, so much so, I hate the sight of needles now,” said Casaki.

However, the fear of needles did not stop him from achieving other things in life, Casaki started doing things he liked. Casaki can sail on his own. He is a highly accomplished singer, actor, basketball player and also loves dancing though he honestly admits, “I’m not a great dancer.”

Going back to his growing up years, Casaki said he loved going to school, but he used to getting bullied often due to his condition. “I was a shy chap and used to get bullied in school regularly. But I soon made friends and became more confident. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it was not for my friends and that is why friendship rates very high in my list of priorities,” Casaki admitted.

And to pay back bullies in school, Casaki penned a song about bullies which he sang with much elan as he closed his presentation at the Knowledge Centre afternoon session. Perfect voice, perfect pitch and apt lyrics what more can you ask from Casaki.

- AccessAbilities Expo