“Give us that one chance”

One day as I was reading the newspaper, it had an article that covered the lack of opportunities given to the disabled athletes in India. It got me thinking, we have a healthy participation in the Olympics, so what seems to be the stumbling block in this category.

I have got to admit, I do have a soft spot for the neglect of our society. They are not given even half a glance and termed as anchors to our overall country’s progress.

So it got me lurking around the city, in and around the NGOs to get to the crux of the issue. Someone needed to do it. The more I devoured into the subject, the clearer the thoughts or my perception changed. There are stories of abandonment, homelessness; some are just thrown to the corner of the house, believed to be a curse on the family.

On the other hand, there are stories where people have overcome obstacles, difficulties and made a name for them. Deepa Malik is an Arjuna Awardee, who won 12 international medals and was the first Indian woman to win a medal the Para Asian games in Guangzhou, China in 2010. These days she just a common house name, doing chores in her village. The Government promised her a better life, but now shun away the thought of even helping her.

I had recently attended an event for the disabled challenged athletes at the Andheri Sports Complex. To my sheer surprise, there was no inequality done to the athletes. An even playing field, where one would treat each other with dignity and a high sense of sportsmanship was practised with great ease. You almost felt, a sense of pride seeing these youngsters actually have a good time.

Later I caught hold of one of the participants who was overjoyed stating,”I didn’t come here to win, just got my wish of participating in the 100m was victory itself.” I certainly felt her emotions. She was brimming with confidence. These are people who would travel for hours to realise their dream.

Finally would like to end by saying that we should banish our closed mindset and the mistreatment done to disabled people of our country. I am sure we can unearth the next champion or idol of our country with a little bit of positivity and determination.

They do need our help.

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