Special Olympics aspirants' have no money to fly
Special children from various special schools in the city were selected to participate in the Special Olympics to be held in Australia, and they approached the District Collector here on Monday appealing for sponsors as the organisers have asked them to meet out the airfare by themselves this year.
The Special Olympic Asia Pacific Games - 2013 is scheduled to be held from November 29 to December 7 at New Castle, Australia. Students from Holy Cross Blossom Opportunity School, P Naveen Akash (12), A Aravind Subramani (14) and S Divakar (20), Asha Deepam Special School student L Joseph Chakravarthy (21) and Vidivelli Special School student M Cyril Robert (16) were selected to participate in the events. All the five students are mentally-retarded with microcephaly, a nervous weakness and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Among them, Naveen Akash, Divakar and Cyril Robert are named for athletics (running), while Aravind Subramani takes part in cycling and L Joseph Chakravarthy is selected for basket-ball and badminton. Though these children are happy to be selected for the international event, their economic condition may prevent their participation in the mega event. It is because that the organisers have for the first time, asked these participants to bear the cost of the air ticket for themselves.
“This is for the first time, the students are asked to bear the cost and each one has to shell about `70,000 for air tickets. Finding no other go, we have approached the Collector to assist to find sponsors,” said Sr Josephine, Headmistress of Holy Cross Blossom Opportunity School.
Fortunately, her student, Aravind Subramani, has won gold in the national-level cycling for special kids. Sr Josephine said that some students have problems in obtaining passport as their addresses vary. For instance, Naveen Akash who had lost his father has been residing under the care of a caretaker. Since the permanent address is not clear in the boy’s case, his passport is delayed still. “We have asked the Collector to solve this problem,” said Sr Josephine.
Similar situations were aired by Sr Starlet, HM of Vidivelli Special School and Sr Selvam, HM of Asha Deepam Special School. Both of them said that they have been trying their best to arrange the amount.Collector Jayashree Muralidharan who heard their pleas, assured to do something in their favour.