Samagra Shiksha adventure sports programme for CwSN evokes a good response

The goal is to elevate their athletic capabilities and encourage societal acceptance.
A participant of Samagra Shiksha adventure sports programme
A participant of Samagra Shiksha adventure sports programmePhoto | Express

VIJAYAWADA : Samagra Shiksha Andhra Pradesh embarked on an adventure sports programme specifically for children with special needs (CwSN) on June 10 and 11 at Gandikota.

This event marked a significant milestone in promoting inclusion and driving societal change. A group of 25 students participated in activities such as trekking and rappelling as part of this pilot project.

This initiative forms a crucial part of the ‘Vision 2025 - Inclusive Andhra’ project. The programme was supervised by Shankar Kadapala, a sports coach at RDT High School for Inclusive Education. Shankar, who is currently pursuing a sports management diploma at the International Institute of Sports Management in Mumbai, completed a 45-day internship with Samagra Shiksha, focusing on incorporating CwSN into mainstream sports activities. Rithika, a sixth-grader and experienced mountaineer who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, served as an inspiration to the group.

State Project Director of Samagra Shiksha B Srinivasa Rao emphasised the importance of adventure sports for CwSN, stating, “Adventure sports are crucial for the growth of CwSN, helping them overcome fears and build character. Vision 2025 Inclusive Andhra strives to dismantle educational barriers for these children, viewing sports as integral part to their mental and physical development while challenging societal biases.”

This initiative is part of Samagra Shiksha’s broader efforts to develop an inclusive sports curriculum, enabling CwSN to compete alongside their peers. The goal is to elevate their athletic capabilities and encourage societal acceptance.

Senior Advisor at Samagra Shiksha Ram Kamal underscored the transformative potential of the inclusive approach, stating, “No Barrier, the Inclusive Sports project, sends a powerful message: every child, regardless of challenges, has dreams. Removing societal barriers allows each child to pursue aspirations, fostering success and self-belief.”

Looking ahead, the plan includes sending 25 CwSN to Ladakh in 2025 for a week-long training session, following additional training at the Gandikota Adventure Sports Academy. ‘Vision 2025 - Inclusive Andhra’ aims to transform 45,000 government schools into fully inclusive institutions through digitally accessible pedagogy, promoting acceptance and opportunities for CwSN while addressing the high unemployment rate among disabled community.

Rihana, who took part in rappelling, said, “Gandikota exceeded my expectations, proving that students like me can enjoy adventure activities, turning stories from books into reality.” K Iswarya, another participant, reflected on her aspirations, saying, “Born with low vision like my sister, I look up to Erik Weihenmayer, the blind mountaineer who conquered Everest. Can’t I dream of climbing Everest like him?”

G Nagesh, who uses a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, shared, “I always dreamed of exploring valleys, scaling mountains, and bungee jumping. Despite initial doubts from my family, the adventure camp made my dream a reality and changed perceptions.”

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