The Department of English, the Bhawanipur Education Society College, Kolkata, in collaboration with the Centre for Disability Research and Training, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi, organised a two-day National Level workshop on “Disability Sensitisation” in the Society Hall on 2nd and 3rd May, 2023 from 10am – 5pm. The two-day National Level workshop was divided into three segments that included a plenary session, technical sessions on disability sensitisation, and a valedictory session conducted by three distinguished scholars of Disability Studies in India. The workshop was organised for the undergraduate students of 6th semester and the postgraduate students of the 2nd and 4th semester of the Department of English. The workshop opened with the welcome address on 2nd May which was delivered by Dr. Gargi Talapatra, In-Charge, Department of English. This was followed by the inaugural ceremony where the esteemed scholars, Prof (Dr.) Someshwar Sati (Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi), Prof. Shilpa Das (National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad) and Prof. (Dr.) Banibrata Mahanta (Banaras Hindu University) were felicitated by the Vice Principal of Arts, Dr. Debjani Ganguly, the M.A. English Coordinator, and Associate Professor, Department of English, Prof. Ananyya Banerjee and former Associate Professor, Department of English, Dr. Suchandra Chakravarty, respectively. The first plenary session of the workshop was taken up by Prof Someshwar Sati. It focused on Introducing Disability Studies as a postmodern and postcolonial discourse integrating academia with activism. Prof. Sati, apart from being a nationally distinguished scholar of English Literature, is also the Chairperson of the Indian Disability Studies Collective, and has been conferred with the National Award on the International Day of People with Disability by the honourable President of India for his contribution to the field. In his talk, Prof. Sati highlighted the marginalisation and ostracization of the disabled community in the society through the structural and institutional inequalities posed by segregation and intentional evasion. He also negated the misconceptions and myths associated with disability, mentioning how it has often been discerned as an inability or inadequacy as per the standard of normalisation dictated by the ableist society. Through a short visual presentation, Prof. Sati further highlighted the significance of disability mainstreaming in society. The second plenary session was conducted by Prof. Shilpa Das. It dealt with the language, terminology, and models of disability. She deliberated upon the social, the legal, the scientific and the medical models of disability. She emphasised how in a somatic centric society, the medical model of disability stigmatises the anatomical body thereby destroying the relation of body image and self-concept associated with identity generation. From the standpoint of a disabled individual and scholar, Prof. Das highlighted the need to avoid the usage of patronising terms like “differently-abled”, “special needs”, “specially challenged” among others, while addressing the disabled community. Prof. Das questioned the idea of “able-bodiedness” in society and reflected on the 1995 and 2016 disability acts passed by the Indian government. She also discussed the stigmas associated with disability in India. Prof. Banibrata Mahanta, in the third session, concentrated on the politics, perceptions, and representation of disability. He deconstructed the apparent “madness” and the so-called “abject” and deviant behaviours associated with disability in a typical social setup and its subsequent manifestations in literature, culture, and media. Citing personal examples, Prof. Mahanta shared insights on his process of unlearning and relearning disability and its projection through certain significant literary texts like Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, among others. The perpetual victimisation and binarisation of disabled people as subhumans or superhumans in literature, culture and society were also discussed. Post lunch on day one, the students attended specialised technical sessions. 71 students were divided into three groups namely, A, B, and C in a manner that every group of students would attend a tutorial session each conducted by all three resource persons throughout the two-day national workshop. Technical sessions were simultaneously held by the experts on day one and day two. For the tutorial sessions, the students were also added to three specially created Google Classrooms for the workshop where reading materials sent by the resource persons had been uploaded for the participants by the Department. This was done in order to ensure smooth streamlining of the workshop. Prof Sati’s technical session “Disability, Literature and Culture” focussed on the representation of disability in literature and its subsequent social understanding through the medium of a few short stories. The texts curated by Prof. Sati dealt with the othering of disabled people in society, further highlighting their plight, angst, traumas, sexual needs and desires among others. A deconstructed reading of the short stories presented disability as a social phenomenon advocating a just and inclusive society by mainstreaming the subjective lived experiences of the disabled community. Prof. Shilpa Das’s session “Disability, Gender and Sexuality”, touched upon the intersectional oppression and marginalisation experienced by disabled women and transgenders in society. Highlighting the socially constructed gender roles, relations and hegemony, Prof. Das pointed out the sociopolitical and cultural construction of disability on grounds of biological determinism. Prof. Das also talked about the state approved disciplining of the bodies of disabled women through regulation of social practices steeped in the policies of medicalisation. This was followed by her deliberations on the “stare”, synonymous to male gaze, through which a disabled woman is perceived as a grotesque spectacle, thereby projecting her as either “hyper-visible” or “invisible”. Her talk aimed at mainstreaming the concerns of Indian women with disabilities in the spheres of employment, family, society and healthcare advocating major changes at the grassroots. Prof. Mahanta, through his session “Disability and Cinema” explored the politics of representation of disability in Cinema. He highlighted the entertainment industry’s unethical portrayals and relegation of disability through ableist lens and its implementation as narrative devices for furthering the film plots or else for evoking humour, contempt or condescending appreciation. Prof. Mahanta analysed films like Forrest Gump (1994) and its Bollywood remake Lal Singh Chaddha (2022) to problematise the portrayal of disability in cinema. Without any consultation, supervision or representation from the disabled community, the majority of the Indian commercial films end up exploiting and appropriating disability. Prof. Mahanta concluded his session by acknowledging the sensitive and sensible portrayal of disability in Indian Cinema through films like Ship of Theseus (2012). In the valedictory session held in the second half on day-two on 3rd May, Prof. Das talked about disability and accessibility through effective strategizing and incorporation of more inclusive architectural designs, and infrastructures in order to remove the barriers experienced by the disabled people. Prof. Mahanta talked about the challenges associated with disability and caregiving from the perspective of a caregiver parent. Prof. Sati concluded the session reiterating the overall objectives of the workshop signifying effective ways of dealing with disability and the disabled community in society. He also critiqued the saviour complex and the patronising attitude of the able people towards the disabled people on lines of cultural hegemony and discussed ways of overcoming it at an individual and collective level. Following the valedictory session, Prof. Tathagata Sen, Joint IQAC Coordinator and Associate Professor, Department of English, presented the resource persons with mementos. This was succeeded by the distribution of participation certificates to the students by the experts following which a Vote of Thanks was delivered by Dr. Gargi Talapatra. The event was duly recorded and the feedback forms circulated amongst the student-participants have been maintained for record by the department.