BANGALORE: Fourteen-year-old Tabbasum from Geriezim Public Trust and rehabilitation centre, Ejipura, is an orphan and suffers from a neurological disorder. However, the disability has never prevented her from following her creative pursuits like painting, stitching and embroidery. On Monday, she exhibited her talent in sports as well in Sports Festival-2012, held at Kanteerva Stadium. “I enjoyed participating in the march past and I am here to participate in the running competition,” she stated.
Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Deputy Mayor Harish declared open the Sports festival-2012 for differently-abled children. About 530 children from 36 schools and trusts in the state participated in the various events.
While the children sat through the speeches, the fire crackers, which were lit during the inauguration, threw them into an euphoric frenzy. They clapped and stamped in joy. After the inauguration ceremony, the participants were divided based on age groups —12 to 16 years, 17 to 20 years, 21 to 25 years and above 25 years. The line up of the events include 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres, and 400 x 400 metres relay races.
Abhijeet, a 7th grade student from Chetana Karkala, Udupi, said, “I love high jump and long jump. I have been training everyday. I want to participate in the Olympics and represent India someday.”
The day started with 100m dash competition. Anish, a student of SSK School from Bangalore won the race and completed it in 12.10 seconds. He said, “I enjoyed the experience. Now, I want to win all the races.” Another student Halesh, from AAKT, Davangaere, finished the race in 15.6 seconds. “I will come here every year to participate in the event. I aim to win some events,” he said.
General secretary of Sports and Culture Academy for Mentally Challenged Vasanth Kumar Shetty said, “This is the second time we are organising a state level event for mentally challenged children. We believe that given the opportunity, these children can perform at par with normal children.”
Teachers who accompanied the children to the sports festival also spoke about the importance of inclusion of differently-abled students in mainstream education. Students from Renuka Krupa school, Belgaum, Ushash School, Hubli, Liyanses School and Shanidhya School, Mangalore, and Asha Sadana, Mandya, participated in the event.