By Shubhankar Chakravorty
BANGALORE (Dec. 1)—Over 2,000 students from various special schools across Bangalore participated in a sports event organized for them at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Thursday.
Jointly organized by the Women and Child Development Department and the Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens Department, the event saw participation by nearly 60 special schools from in and around Bangalore.
The event was organized as a run up to the World Disabled Day celebrated on Saturday.
Participants of a wide age group with varied mental and physical disabilities attended the event with unparalleled enthusiasm and vigor.
The sports events were ability oriented or disability specific, with different sports events for the blind, deaf, mentally underdeveloped and the physically challenged students.
On Nov. 26, an art and cultural event involving special kids was held at Kanteerava. On Saturday, another special event and prize distribution will be held at the Kanteerava again.
Though the sports meet was promoted by the state government, the main sponsoring was done by Karnataka Marwari Youth Federation, Canara Bank and the Adinath Jain Svetambara Trust.
The state government contributes only Rs. 50,000 towards the sports meet whereas the total cost for organizing the event is over Rs. 400,000,” said Paly M.G., district program officer of the Women and Children Development Department, Bangalore urban district.
Karnataka Athletics Association is actively involved with the meet. The event also saw encouraging participation from several NGOs and institutes who have helped in putting up the event.
Event ‘a good medium of integration’
11-year-old special kid Vishnu from the JSS Special School, with speech and multiple disorders was elated to participate in the event, as explained by him to his teacher.
Susan John, headmistress of the Marthoma Opportunity School said, “The sports and cultural meets are a good medium of integration for the special kids in the mainstream of life.”
Sister Malini of St. Joseph’s Special Nivas School for the Physically and Mentally Challenged was excited as over 40 children from her school participated in the sports meet.
“These events are good at giving exposure to the special kids outside their comfort zone,” Sister she said.
Other schools that participated in the event included Divya Santhi Special School, Vidyarania Educational Development Society, Krishna Trust School and Balamano Vikas Kendra.
Each school had an average participation of around 30 students. Bands from regular schools from Adugodi performed at the event.
Breakfast, lunch and snacks were provided to the participants, who also received participation and merit certificates. Winners received prizes and special achievement certificates.
The problems that the special schools face in the city, such as poor infrastructure and lack of qualified staff, were forgotten on the joyous day of the special kids sports meet at the Kanteerava Stadium.
(Published in The SoftCopy)