On the lines of the paralympics, which celebrates the spirit of sport among the physically challenged, the three-day Regional Abilympics, which tests their practical skills, began in the city on Thursday.Nearly 300 competitors in the age group of 15 to 50 years from within the State, North East, Bihar, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh are competing in the regional event at the VRC for Handicapped here.
The skill categories, which have been selected from international abilympics held earlier, include assembly of personal computers, computer programming, floral arrangements, ceramics, tailoring, painting and others.
The abilympics is organised in Bhubaneswar by the National Abilympics Association of India in collaboration with Bhubaneswar-based Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre (SMRC) and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Asha Hans of SMRC said the event is aimed at providing a new dimension to the range of competitive events, improving vocational skills of persons with disabilities and opening up employment opportunities for them.
“It is a test of vocational skills acquired by persons with disabilities.
It is open to people with visual, hearing and speech impairments, and the mentally or orthopaedically disabled. The winners of this regional Abilympics will go to the National Abilympics which will be held later this year or early next year. Winners of the national round would then compete at the international level,” she added.