On June 3rd 2022, we celebrated Annual Blind Rocks Day with Award Ceremony, celebrating the eight years of the founding of Blind Rocks! The event was held at Indreni Banquet in the presence of our Chief Guest, Anuradha Koirala, Founder of Maiti Nepal and CNN Hero 2010.
Ms. Blind Rocker season-3, Sami Lawati, was our host for the evening and she kept the audience engaged throughout the program. We then got a chance to hear our Chief Guest, Anuradha Koirala congratulating Blind Rocks. In her speech, she also highlighted the importance of saving our Nepali culture and language.
Anuradha Koirala was also invited on stage to award the Sristi Upama Pratibha Award to Ramesh Subedi, an inspiring visually-impaired singer and musician. The Outstanding Performance Award, which was kept a secret until the ceremony, was presented to secretary of the organization Ms. Narayani Dawadi for her active participation in Blind Rocks! events for a long time. She was praised for her continuous effort and contribution to Blind Rocks!
In the second half of the ceremony, a panel discussion was held with the agenda, “Is art just for entertainment or can it be used as a tool for social change?” Our honorable panelists were Dr. Lochan Rijal (Music Professor), Sanchita Luitel (Nepali Actress), and Keshav Raj Khanal(president of society of fine arts Nepal),Giving their view on overview of the panel discussion, we had Dr. Birendra Raj Pokhrel, Pawan Ghimire and Sarita Lamichhane representing the disability field.
It was inspiring to see our panelists discussing the topic with high enthusiasm. “I used to believe that music was simply for entertainment. But now I believe it is our cultural identity and should be passed on for generations. We need to educate children about music and incorporate the cultural aspect of it too,” said Dr. Lochan Rijal. He also expressed his willingness to help Blind Rocks! Reach this endeavour.
Actress Sanchita Luitel also shared her thoughts, “Every person has a talent. Some might be talented in acting while some in singing. We need to learn how to make the most of our talents.” She also promised to help the blind and visually impaired community in any way she can, especially in the field of acting. Sanchita showed her admiration towards the MC, praising her gestures and talking style. “That is yet another form of talent,” she concluded.
Dr. Birendra Raj Pokharel had some strong opinions about inclusivity of the blind community in Nepal. He said, “With new generations, music also changes. But at the end, music is an inseparable aspect of the society. People tend to immediately associate blindness with unproductiveness, that is very wrong. If given the right chance and the platform, anyone can excel if they have the passion for it”. The panel came to the conclusion that with proper research, art can be used as a tool for social change and also made personal commitments to bring about change.
The event was successful, entertaining and empowering. It reinvigorated in us the energy to make our ninth year even more empowering to the blind community of Nepal.