Differently-abled Special athletes are the real heroes: Olympian Boxer Vijender Singh


January 24, 2020

New Delhi

Differently-abled Special athletes are the real heroes: Olympian Boxer Vijender Singh

Olympian pugilist Mr Vijender Singh on Friday promised his full support to Special Olympics for differently-abled people, who according to him are the real heroes.

Addressing the inaugural of Mission Inclusion- Bharat Youth Activation Workshop, organized jointly by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust and Lions Club International and here, the prized Indian boxer said the people who were differently-abled face several challenges in life and face ill-treatment when they want to achieve something in their lives.

This is the reason special athletes who have succeeded are the real heroes, said Mr Vijender Singh. Organisations like Special Olympics Bharat are training 7000 special athletes across the country, which is highly admirable, said Mr Vijender Singh.

A little over two years ago, SO Bharat had carried out a programme -Mission Inclusion, which reached out to more than 80,000 athletes, partners, families, youth and doctors through Unified Sports, Youth Activation and Healthy Athlete Programmes. The Special Olympics, Bharat, held the youth Activation workshop to celebrate this success at the PHD House.

Promising his help and support to any efforts to help special athletes, Mr Vijender Singh asked the special athletes to ignore the taunts and criticism they face. Never be scared of losses of defeats as it is only when you lose, you learn valuable lessons, said Mr Vijender Singh.

In the keynote address, H.E. Mr Hector Cueva Jacome, the Ambassador of Ecuador to India, said the Ecuador government had enacted laws to protect people with special abilities, who are estimated to be two percent of his country’s population. His government also made it compulsory to hire persons with special abilities, said H.E. Mr Jacome.

The holding of Special Olympics is part of the overall effort to improve a lot of people with intellectual and physical challenges.

Mrs Aruna Oswal, Chairperson, Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust, said the trust supported efforts to empower the special athletes to become confident and dignified members of the society. Addressing a panel discussion on ‘Building Inclusive Communities through Partnerships’ Mrs Oswal said the special children did not need sympathy but wanted love and affection. We need to involve the youth in unified sports so as to include even the intellectually challenged to achieve their aspirations and goals.

She also stressed the need to build partnerships with the corporates, government and the international communities to reach out to many more persons needing support across the world. This is a long journey, and we have to become more passionate and compassionate, added Mrs Oswal.

Mr David Evangelista, PMD Special Olympics Europe, Eurasia Region, admitted that a person with intellectual disability were placed at the bottom of the barrel, also not many bother with them because they are not part of any lobby. The big challenge is how to include them in the development process in all spheres of life, he said. The first thing is that we have to make people aware that helping such people is not charity but a responsibility that everyone has to share, said Mr Evangelista.

Dr Jatinder Singh, Director, PHD Chamber, said the industry is already helping differently able people and cited the example of recent recruitment of many differently-abled people. Most of them are still retained, he said. Their greatest value, the employees found, was their total commitment and loyalty, said Dr Jatinder Singh. The industry has to have passion for persons with special need, he said, and added the industry now is treating them equally.

In his welcome address, Air Marshal Denzil Keelor, Founder and CEO, Special Olympics, Bharat, said we are celebrating a very important initiative. The incubation of Special Olympics Youth leaders in the programme promises to significantly add to our plans for the formation of a unified generation tomorrow, said Air Marshal Keelor.

Mr Ashok Pavadia, former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr Deepak Natali, PMD Special Olympics Asia Pacific region, Ms Annemarie Hill, Senior Director, Health Systems and partnerships, SOI, Ms Lina Bardhan, Senior Advisor SO Bharat and Ms Champa Saha, Inclusive Practices Consultant, participated In another panel discussion on ‘Creating Inclusion in India & the Rest of the World.’


Media Division

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry