PRATISTHA 2018: Community Outreach by Special Olympics Bharat

We are all like snowflakes or broken mirrors inside a kaleidoscope. We are unique. We are beautiful the way we are, just the way we are. Would a kaleidoscope be as much fun if all the patterns were the same? I don’t think so. And this is true for people as well. The beauty fundamentally lies in the fact that we are all extraordinarily distinct as unique individuals.

Throughout history, societies have been, and still continue to be, divided into hierarchies or strata. Some are based on racial differences, others in gender and some in caste. However differently abled people face the burden of ridicule, stigma and discrimination irrespective of which strata of society they belong to. Although a considerable number of people in this world are disabled, not much heed is paid to their needs or demands.

Dr Kessler aptly wrote, “The term normal is not a statistical concept, but a personal judgment in which we use ourselves as the standard, and the subject of our attention as the deviation from that standard.” The standard on which differently abled people are judged and discriminated against is usually ableism. And ableism is often determined by physical fitness. Differently abled people have been looked upon as dependent, unfit, invalids and whatnot.

Special Olympics International is a worldwide non-profit organisation for benefiting the intellectually disabled through the medium of sports. Special Olympics competitions are held every day, all around the world—including local, national and regional competitions, adding up to more than 100,000 events a year. Special Olympics Bharat is an officially recognised programme of Special Olympics International which operates in India. It is recognized by the government of India as a National Sports Federation for the development of sports opportunity for the people with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics Bharat is bringing the second edition of its annual sports rendezvous Prathistha 2018, on 1st July 2018. It is a community outreach programme aimed at promoting a sense of inclusion in the youth. Participants will get a chance to play a wide variety of sports with athletes who have represented, or are training to represent, our country in the Special Olympics World Games. There will be a variety of sports from cricket, tug of war, to relay races.

The event is going to be held on Sunday, 1st July 2018, at Smriti Van, Mayur Vihar Phase III. The event will begin at 4 pm and there are no registration fees. The only thing they ask of you, is three hours of your time.

Here’s some further information about Pratishtha 2018, courtesy SO Bharat Youth Leaders:

Pratishtha is a community outreach event which targets spreading awareness about Special Olympics, intellectual disability, and make an inclusive society.  

The core aim is to promote and practice inclusion. The volunteers who organize, plan and implement the event are Youth leaders with and without intellectual disabilities from different school and colleges. Tanmay Aggarwal was the pioneer Youth Leader who initiated this event which was first conducted at Vijay Mandal Park, Malviya Nagar on 30th July 2017 which had about 70 volunteers from different schools. 

 This year’s plan:

DATE: 1st July 2018

VENUE: Smriti Van, Play Area

TIMINGS: 4pm – 7pm

 Sports Events:

  1. Cricket
  2. Powerlifting 
  3. Athletics
  4. Tug of War  

 Highlights- 

  1. Students of Tagore International School will be performing a nukkad natak on inclusion.
  2. Photo booth- People will get a chance to click photos with the athletes who won medals for India at World Games. 

 Resources that SO Bharat will arrange:

  • Athletes with special needs
  • Trained Coaches
  • Sports equipments
  • Banners
  • Refreshments
  • Stalls

So what are you waiting for? Grab your family and friends and be at Smriti Van at 4 pm on 1st July!

 

 

 

 

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My India, My Dream

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; 

Where knowledge is free […]

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake 

 

There is so much to dream about India; so much to love; so much to despair; so much to cheer about and so much to work for.

India is almost a five thousand years old civilization. And ever since its inception, various streams of immigrants, from different ethnic strains and linguistic families, have merged into India to contribute to its diversity, richness and vitality. Several levels of social evolution coexist in India and its composite identity has won her the often quoted cliche, ‘Unity in Diversity’.

Even as we should be proud of our roots, we need to be worried about the future of our country. Still plagued by numerous problems, India has failed to find the stature that it deserves in this world. Instead of treating the problems like an ostrich and ignoring them, it’s time we took the bull by its horn and tackled each and every malady analytically and thoroughly.  

Step out onto the roads of India, and you will undoubtedly see countless pairs of sweat-drenched hands begging for food. Uncombed hair, tattered clothes, unwashed and malnourished bodies are sure to greet your eyes at every traffic signal. The first thing that I wish for India of the future, is that these people are economically protected and they have a home, a job to go to, a happy life and no longer depend on the mercy of those driving shiny big black cars. Economic disparities prevalent in India should be bridged. India of my dreams is a nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy, and continues on a sustainable growth path.

Corruption has become a blood-sucking vampire and is draining out the life force of India. People openly blackmail us, burn holes into our pockets and we oblige. Honest and visionary politicians, supported by a dedicated bureaucracy, in the India of my dreams will have stronger anti-corruption laws and even tougher implementation to root out this parasite. It will be a nation where governance is responsive, transparent and corruption-free.

India, as of today, is, sadly, a society of hypocrites, sexists, and racists. Casteism is still prevalent. Women and elders are still discriminated against. Lawlessness is still rampant and we are still haunted by local goons and mafias. The common man is afraid to step out of his home for fear of his life and security. No more discrimination and insecurities in the India of my dreams! A nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed, crime against women and children is absent, and no one in the society feels alienated.

India is home to a rich diversity of religions and religious beliefs, and yet, they live in disharmony and treat each other with distaste and suspicion. The Hindu-Muslim riots are still prevalent in almost every part of the country.  I dream of an India where Shabad Kirtan from Gurudwaras, Azan from Mosques, Bhajans from Temples and chiming of the bells from churches blend together into a harmonious medley of beautiful music. Imagine waking up in a future India and listening to all these different spiritual strains merge and mingle and produce a melodious tune of brotherhood and love. Imagine all the people living life in peace.    

India has become a soft target for terrorism, even though it is a worldwide phenomenon. The humane and pacific image of India in international relations is often taken for sheepishness. This is because we only react to threats and lack strategic planning. India needs to be tougher and more aggressive in its own defense.

We need to skill-enable and knowledge-enable our youth by fostering private sector initiatives. It is essential to develop sustainable systems in every domain, so that fluctuations in the world economy do not have a direct impact on the Indian economy.

With its run of recent accomplishments, India has earned international acclaim for its ambitious space programmes and science missions, which will fill any Indian’s heart with pride. I dream for India to become a world leader in science and technology.

 

“Dream; Dream; Dream. Dreams transform into thoughts. And thoughts result in action.”

I dream of a shining India, a vibrant democracy and a secular nation taking center-stage in the comity of nations. To say the least, we will have a new heaven on earth. People will be mentally, morally, spiritually and physically better. The common man in India will feel the glow of freedom.