The Elite Students’ Commendation Festival

 The Festival for commendation the elite students was first initiated in Iran by the Disability Association of Tavana (DAT) in 1999. This festival was concentrated on: the enhancement of the scientific potentials of students; the encouragement of top students; the promotion of the status of disabled people in society; the presentation of potentials and limitations of the disabled people in the society; the development of a healthy cultural and recreational atmosphere for families; and the introduction of the DAT and elaboration on its objectives. Since that time, each year some 3,000 elite students (at different educational levels) from Qazvin Province have welcomed this festival and this number is increasing every year. As a non-governmental organization and by implementing this project, the DAT has been able to adopt effective steps toward making a shift in the attitude of the society regarding the concept of disability. By organizing the commendation Festival for the elite Students, the DAT has prepared a proper context for the social presence of the disabled people and has emphasized on the basic issue of Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) which has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2018, the Secretariat of the Festival for Commendation the Elite students was, for the 20th year, the host of more than 3,000 elite students from Qazvin and Alborz provinces. These 3,000 elite students and their families (totally 20,000 people) were participating in this 5-day festival. They witnessed different entertaining and amusing programs and, at the end the festival, some 30 percent of students received awards. Several famous actors and singers of the country participated in the 20th Festival for Commendation the Top Students. We can claim that this cultural initiative was the only popular initiative which has been organized without the involvement of governmental organizations and its success is due to the interaction between the society and the disabled individuals. Objectives of the initiative are as follows: 1- Enhancement of the students’ education and scientific knowledge 2- Promotion of the public awareness of the issues related to disabled people and their acceptability by the society 3- Providing a healthy cultural and entertaining environment for families 4- Supporting the disabled students Implemented programs in the Festival for Commendation the Elite students are as follows: 1- Performing traditional Iranian music by well-known musicians and disabled artists 2- Organizing competitions and recreational activities in order to promote cultural and social awareness 3- Performing theatrical programs in order to develop social and ideological awareness 4- Introducing the elite students of Qazvin Province in order to create a healthy competition atmosphere among students 5- Introducing elite and successful disabled individuals in order to develop the cause of the community of disabled people 6- Giving awards to 30 percent of the guidance school and high school students participating in the program 7- Giving awards all primary school students participating in the program 8- Showing documentary video clips about the successful disabled individuals 9- Delivering of speech by invitees and the officials who participated in the ceremony 10- Performing some programs by the Blind People Singing Group and the Children Singing Group advertisement needs of the DAT.      


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