Close to fifty physically and mentally challenged children had the time of their lives, trying out outbound sports at Breakthrough on Kothnur Dinne Road on the eve of International Day of People with Disabilities.
The air was filled with shrieks of delight from the children and the adult staff that had accompanied them alike as they walked across ropes or swung from one end of it to the other.
“A couple of years ago, a boy from Baldwin’s Opportunity School, spoke for the first time when he was doing one of the activities here. So we thought why not make it more accessible to children with special needs,” said Robin Paul, co-founder, Breakthrough.
However, this is the first time that Breakthrough has organised a morning of fun for kids to mark International Day of People with Disabilities. “In keeping with UN’s theme ‘Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all’, we thought we too would help break barriers. These are not activities that the visually challenged or those with other disabilities are given a chance to take part in,” said Blessy Esther Samuel, speaking for Breakthrough.
“This is the first time that we’re here,” said A Nancy, teacher working with Mitra, a school for children diagnosed with cerebral palsy with mental retardation.
According to Chandra Ivan, a teacher from Asha Kiran, a school for children with special needs, the event also proved to be a socially stimulating activity.
Fittingly, the ‘guest of honour of the event’ was Inder, who despite being a spastic child, completed his education and is an assistant manager with an MNC now. The 26-year-old was excited to spend a day with ‘Linda aunty’ (Linda Paul, co-founder, Breakthrough), who first noticed him when he was seven and enrolled him at the Spastic Society of Karnataka.
Founded in 2000 by former international athlete Robin Paul, Breakthrough is an organisation that specialises in outbound training for corporates, schools and colleges. With two campuses, one in Bangalore and another in Annakati, near Coimbatore, it offers high and low rope courses.