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IIT Madras organizes Sports Carnival for Persons with Disabilities

By   /  December 11, 2022  /  Comments Off on IIT Madras organizes Sports Carnival for Persons with Disabilities

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CHENNAI : Indian Institute of Technology Madras’ (IIT Madras) TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) organized a one-of-its-kind Sports Carnival for persons with disabilities through the new ICMR – National Centre for Assistive Health Technology (NCAHT) in the institute today (11th Dec 2022).

Called ‘Sports 4 All,’ most of the participants were trying out sports for the very first time in their life. This event is in line with the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), observed annually on 3rd December. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) theme is ‘Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.’

Registered participants include a total of 214 Persons with Disabilities from across India including Maharashtra, Karnataka, New Delhi, 255 caregivers / general public and 111 Volunteers / Students. In addition, disability rehabilitation professionals, innovators, and sportspersons also participated in the event.

Congratulating TTK R2D2 Centre for organizing the event, Chief Guest Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “Inclusion is one of the fundamental agendas of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Persons with disabilities are excluded and left behind worldwide due to lack of accessibility to innovative solutions. Inclusive gross motor activities and sports provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in fitness activities which will help improve physical and mental health.”

The event collaborators include the National Institute for Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD), IIT Madras Research Park, Global Sports Mentoring Program, an initiative of the U.S Department of State and University of Tennessee, and Decathlon.

Highlighting the need for such events, Prof. Sujatha Srinivasan, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Head, R2D2 and NCAHT, IIT Madras, said, “To ensure the world is accessible and equitable, it is crucial for governments, educational entities, private and public sectors to collaboratively find transformative solutions for and with persons with disabilities in every walk of life. Based on one of the WHO sub-themes for IDPD on sports, R2D2 and NCAHT at IIT Madras had planned the event at IIT Madras on the broad theme ‘Sports 4 All’.”

The key objectives of the event include:

Ø  Introduce sports and games to persons with disabilities

Ø  Introduce innovative assistive devices in the field of sports and games

Ø  Spread awareness about the importance of sports and games in maintaining the health and well-being of persons with disabilities

Ø  Create a common platform for sports for persons with disabilities, institutions/ organizations and other professions

Ø  To achieve community participation through inclusive sports and game

Sharing his/her experience in participating in the event, Poornachandran G (Age: 32), from Ranipet, said, “As a wheelchair basketball player myself, I feel this is a wonderful opportunity to be introduced to other sports. Especially, wheelchair racing and rifle shooting that are otherwise very expensive and you never get an opportunity to try”

Nethravathi, (Age: 30), from Bangalore, said, “I am trying out sports for the first time after acquiring my disability. There are hardly any sports opportunities in the community for PwDs and I am glad to have come here. Thank you IIT Madras”

Ganesh Murugan, (Age: 36) from Korattur, said, “More of these events should happen. It brings a sense of togetherness and bonding and initiates inclusion conversations”

The event was conceived as a carnival where persons with disabilities, caregivers and the common public can visit and try different sports and games. There were 12 sports stalls with adaptive equipment to try out Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Cricket, Rifle shooting, Wheelchair racing, Wheelchair Tennis, Table tennis, Wheelchair Badminton, Board games, Throw events (Javelin, discuss, club), Dart, Boccia and Powerlifting.

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