The All India Deaf Arts and Cultural Society (AIDACS) and the Deepa Malik (Padma Shree, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, and Arjuna Awardee) led Wheeling Happiness Foundation has announced the staging of the 9th Miss and Mister Deaf 2020 at New Delhi’s NDMC Convention Centre on Thursday, February 20, 2020. The initiative conceived to spread the message of “Ability Beyond Disability”, has gained prominence over the years with past winners going on to win laurels for the country on the global stage.
This year’s event will see 47 contestants, 26 of them male and 21 female, converging from all across the country, going through various competition rounds before four winners are crowned in the evening.
South Delhi Member of Parliament (M.P), Ms. MeenakshiLekhi has consented to be the Chief Guest while Ms. ArushiNishankPokhriyal, renowned classical dancer and National Convener of the Sparsh Ganga campaign will be the Guest of Honour, Sh. Dharmendra, IAS, Chairman, New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) will also grace the occasion as a Special Guest.
Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Rajkumar Punjabi, President, AIDACS, said, “The Miss and Mister deaf competition not only showcases the huge amount of talent that persons with special abilities possess but also fosters a spirit of inclusivity and spreads immense confidence and positivity all around. We at AIDACS are proud of the accolades that our past winners have brought for the nation and are certain that this competition will continue to work wonders for the specially-abled community in India. We are also very grateful to Wheeling Happiness Foundation for their continuous and dedicated support to this noble cause.”
Also sharing her thoughts was Ms.Devika Malik, co-founder, Wheeling Happiness Foundation and winner of the NitiAyog and United Nations Women Transforming India Awards, saying, “For me, it is an opportunity to ensure that the specially-abled are able to achieve their dreams. Dreams that I once had and was, by the grace of God and support of society in general, able to fulfill to quite an extent. I want to thank AIDACS and all our partners for making this event a grand success over the years and in particular the NDMC for coming forward to support us wholeheartedly this year.”
Devika, who took it upon herself to help AIDACS organize the event in New Delhi, also helped broaden its canvas this year and make it more purposeful, by involving specially-abled children in a special Swachh Bharat themed round. These children from NDMC’s Achal School were part of a poster competition organized by Wheeling Happiness Foundation in their school recently.
In another wonderful gesture, the children will walk with 15 past winners of the Miss and Mister Deaf competition, thereby also recognizing their contribution to the growth of the event.
Deepa Malik added, “we are making it special by hosting past winners as we also wanted to bring their achievements to the forefront. We felt that conducting the competition in the capital city will also help them gain more attention, and maybe help them get absorbed in the mainstream fashion industry or open the doors to pursue any other dreams that they may be nurturing.”
The proper competition will be spread across the Ethnic, Fashion, Talent and Q&A rounds before Miss and Mister Deaf India World 2020 and Miss and Mister Deaf India International 2020 are crowned. They will then go on to represent the nation in International Pageants.