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Anjali is a movement for an equal India. It is India's first and only International Children and Youth Festival which aims to bridge gaps for making society more inclusive and restore fun-filled childhood by joyful learning.

What is unique about Anjali?

  1. Only national children festival in India.

  2. It is an inclusive festival.

  3. It is a model for joyful learning.

Why Anjali?

Dr Sruti Mohapatra joined the disability movement in 1996 with the formation of the DPI –India Chapter. She travelled extensively around the world and visited many schools, attended many conferences, spoke in many meetings and enriched herself on the issue of disability. What struck Sruti was the stark difference in the quality of life of persons with disabilities in India and South Asia as compared with other countries. Persons with Disabilities were second class citizens who lived to die. Persons with disabilities had no place in society. They were confined to rooms at homes, in urban areas in special schools or vocational training centres or buildings of various associations for the disabled; or to beds in hospitals. I said no more! I am as human as you are. 


Sruti’s first thought was children because children are our future. This situation has to change. Sruti’s friend, Manoj, was the first with whom she shared this idea. ‘Amazing…much needed.’ Sruti developed a concept for presentation to like-minded people and started talking to friends, well-wishers and organizations. Sruti’s first official meeting was with Sukanya. Why not…… how wonderful!’, was the response. The then (2001) Child Rights and Information Officer of UNICEF, Orissa Office, Ms Sukanya Rath is a lady of immense vision and dynamism. Enthusiastic and active, she said ‘let’s get going.' Sruti had known Sukanya since college. They were a group of young, bubbly people, who had founded GLASH, an amateur music group that had become the talk of the town in the 1980s. The next supporter was Mr R. Balakrishnan, then secretary, culture and tourism (GoO). Never before had she met a more sensitive and empathetic government officer. ‘Sruti we should have a world-class event, can you promise me that? That was all he said. And thus Anjali was born.

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From project Anjali to Anjali National Children Festival, the dream has grown large to encompass children from all over India, breaking all man-made barriers. It commenced as a five-year demonstration project, in 2001, to focus on physically and sensory challenged children. The avid interest of mainstream school students saw it transforming into an inclusive children festival in 2003 and finally the only national children festival in 2004. On the one hand, it is an effort to empower children who had been stigmatized and oppressed so they may participate fully in society and on the other hand, it focuses on bridging gaps by enabling disabled and non-disabled children to discover each other in four days, now five days, camp. In this journey, Anjali has also grown into a joyful learning model.


Anjali was born.

Journey of Anjali


Varied Participation


All Odisha participates



First National Children's Festival in India


Model for Inclusive and Joyful Learning



Moves beyond Bhubaneswar


 Focus on Volunteerism

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Gets a Mascot.


Carnival of Love Introduced

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Indradhanush – performances by professional artists with disabilities. 


First International Festival



Atmospheric design of Camp


Swacch Anjali – Matched India’s clarion call for cleanliness.



Gets a brand ambassador 


Disability Arts Festival - Swayam



City embraces Anjali.


Dialogues in Disability.



Anjali Turns 18.


Virtual Festival.


47,000 Participants Till Now

Participants from all across India & 15 countries.

4000 Dedicated

Part-time Volunteers

Bridging the gaps.



  • Workshops
    On Photography, Terracotta and Pottery, Art and Craft, Fine Art, Theatre, Music, Dance, Magic, Science is fun, Cartooning, Know Your Environment, Ventriloquism, Mask Making, Balloon Sculpture, Yoga, Pantomime, and 3D Model etc.
  • Visit of Mainstream School Children
    Aims at providing young children with the necessary understanding of children with disabilities, their challenges, strengths and capabilities.
  • Experiencing the challenges of disability
    Certain disabilities are simulated during this exercise, such as blindfolding to simulate total blindness, for the non-disabled people to get an insight.
  • Inter School Competitions
    From science modeling, collage making to quiz; from music to dance, the festival encourages group competitions over solo performances to foster bonding among children.
  • Hobby Display
    To encourage creative activities, the festival encourages children to cultivate a bobby.
  • Festivals of Joy
    The celebration of festivals at Anjali goes beyond the frontiers of religious and regional boundaries to bear witness to humanitarian love and the spirit of togetherness.
  • Evening Parade
    Participants and escorts dress in colorful traditional costumes and jewelry and walk around the camp shouting slogans of “Long Live Anjali", 'Door door se aaye hain-pyar ke geet laye hain" and many more.
  • Cultural Programs
    The audience witnesses a riveting presentation of songs, dances and plays in the evenings. Elements like magic shows, game zone, star gazing, meeting celebrities, funny games, cartoons etc. are added every year.
  • Exhibitions
    Scientific and cultural exhibitions showcasing talent and culture of different states of India add to the beauty of learning with joy.
  • Carnival of Love
    Taking place annually on the first day of Anjali Festival in Bhubaneshwar, this carnival is seen packed with costume parades, live music, and street performances, and more at one of the biggest events of the year.
  • Food Court
    Food stalls of momos, pastries, traditional odia dishes and many more can be seen serving our visitor’s appetite.
  • Biscope
    Is our tiny film festival where few disability awareness films and feature films are screened and children interact with a few film directors and actors.
  • Indradhanush (Cultural Extravaganza)
    Is a mix of all forms of performing arts by artists with disabilities to showcase the capabilities of the artists with disabilities to others and bring them together to promote inclusion in the field of arts.
  • Atmospheric Design
    Students from local art colleges are challenged to develop art works based on the theme of the year and are sensitized to disability in the process of volunteering.


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