BENGALURU: Sports is the easiest route to an inclusive society, says Major D P Singh, a Kargil war veteran who is known as the India’s first blade runner. “People must overcome inhibitions and flaunt their abilities. I am trying to set an example by performing on ground, to convey a message that disability is a mindset,” he says. He is in the city to run for the second edition of Swachh Ability Run, organised by J K Cement. The event will be held at Federal Public School on November 12 at 6 am. He says that sports should be made part of disabled people’s lives.
“It is scientifically proven that it releases endorphins in your body, which makes you happier and more confident,” he says adding that, after the paralympics last year, opportunities for the disabled have been on the rise. “But we need to create opportunities for ourselves. I am an amputee and I ask other amputees if they will wait for Himalaya to be made accessible or find ways to access it.” Singh cites the example of a paralympian Shailesh. “Last year, he was touring for the event and was visiting few hotels that did not have ramps. He put on his calipers and used the stairs,” he says, adding that using stairs is easier for an amputee than using a ramp. “Ramps are inaccessible for me,” he says.
He says people should overcome challenges on their own. “We need support of the people too but it will take a while to come through,” he says. “There are remote places in the city where ramps cannot be built. Care should also be taken to design them according to specifications, like the inclination must be right for it to be accessible.” Singh has a passionate belief in life and its possibilities. “Your body is a beautiful gift from Almighty. You do not understand its value unless you lose or injure a part,” he says, adding, “My disability gives me opportunities to challenge myself ”.