Bengaluru: Philosophers and spiritualists are puzzled with the simple, but yet deep, question on the meaning of life. Their pursuit for truth and knowledge, many a time, leaves out the specially-abled people, who spend their entire life struggling for acceptance from society. Helping these differently-abled people express themselves through music and art and to heal them through a uniquely designed therapeutic programme, a 48-year-old Bengalurean has dedicated himself to reform their lives.
“I come from a family of healers who practised medicine and healed the needy people. In my early twenties, I had made it a point to follow the path of healing, but through art, music and dance,” says Guru Syed Sallauddin Pasha, the founder-director of Ability Unlimited Foundation (AUF).
A non-profit social service organisation, AUF strives to enable the specially-abled people through a holistic and dynamic programme aimed at recognising and nurturing their hidden potential and talent.
“We work at the microcosmic level of the human body, which involves the entire system of healing. We apply it to the youth, who are wheelchair bound and are suffering from visual, hearing and physical impairment,” says Guru Syed. Stressing on the power of this unique art form, he says, “It helps them feel empowered and treat their drawbacks as mere roadblocks. It gives the message of equality, dignity, equal opportunity, and full participation and protection of their rights that allows them to be on the same platform as others.”
Guru Syed, revered as ‘Father of Indian Therapeutic Theatre for persons with disabilities’, received the national award for outstanding performance in the field of empowerment of persons with disabilities in 2007. AUF also finds a mention in the Guinness World Records and Limca Book of World Records for creating 100 dance theatre productions and 10,000 performances by people with disabilities across the globe.
“I am a Bengalurean by heart and I had very humble beginnings. Looking back, I feel overwhelmed to see so many lives changed and I intend to continue with it for the rest of my life," he says.
“For the past 30 years, I have tried to introduce innovative therapeutic education methodology, direction and choreography and have executed 100 mega therapeutic theatre productions, bringing hope, confidence, dignity and zest to these people with disabilities around the world," he says.
AUF creates awareness among people about the abilities of the specially-abled and make sensitizes them. It works on the basic principle that people with disabilities are also people with extraordinary talents. “Given an opportunity, they are second to none," says Guru Syed, whose unique combination of dance and music therapy, yoga and rhythm therapy, storytelling and choreography therapy, infuses hope among the specially-abled. “This therapeutic education is first of its kind anywhere in the world. AUF believes that nurturing and showcasing the talents of people with disabilities need proper environment, right training and professional presentation which surpasses anyone’s imagination," he says.
“I have trained, healed and helped more than a thousand of differently-abled youth in Bengaluru who have broken the chains of despair and entered the world of positivity,” he says.