A disability often implies an inactive life. But this shouldn’t be the case. For a person with any kind of disability, the freedom of physical movement in sports instills a sense of self confidence and independence.
Prakash K Rath is someone who recognized the advantages that sports can bring to the lives of people living with a handicap. He is the area director of Odisha for Special Olympics, which is an organization that uses unified sports events to promote social inclusion of the intellectually impaired. Above that, he is the advisor to the Odisha Cricket Association for the Visually Impaired (OCA-V), that was formed in 2010. The people belonging to this association are eager to participate in the T20 match organised by the Cricket Association for Visually Impaired. This is the second time that this tournament is taking place in India, and in the previous years, the Indian team emerged victorious, owing to their training and perseverance.
Just as sighted people are encouraged to engage in physical activity or take up a sport for overall wellness, sport plays an equally, if not more important role, for people who live with sensory handicaps. The main aim for OCA-V, and Mr. Prakash, is to promote cricket for the blind, at a grassroot level. Factors that would affect a vision impaired person, such as balance, and free movements, can easily be combated through cricket, as it involves a lot of movement. Better body control, strength, and agility are elements that make them self-assured and self-reliant in their everyday life.
In 2017, Bhubaneshwar has taken up the challenge of hosting these matches on their home ground. But our resources are limited. Majority of our players, including the captain of the Odisha team, come from financially weak backgrounds. As far as food, accommodation, and ground facilities are concerned, a private university (KITT) has provided them with nominal rates. There are several other expenses that need to be covered, such as sports kits for the cricketers, umpire’s fee, banners, travel costs, and human resources. The local government is only able to provide financial aid of INR 5 lakhs, where an event of such a large size has a budget of INR 20 lakhs.
We are seeking support from all of you, to allow the visually impaired to enjoy the glory of a competitive sport. They are an incredibly talented and hard-working team, who, inspite of their social status and sensory handicap, have displayed great triumph over their disability. We believe that this in itself is a huge achievement.
Please step forward to donate whatever is in your power, to allow this tournament to be a successful stepping stone in changing the way our world views disabilities.
Since we are very pressed for time, we request you to spread the word as far as possible, across various social media channels, so that we may reach our fundraising target as soon as possible.
Please remember that every rupee, and every share is going to leave a hugely positive impact on the lives of the players.
Donate and share now!