Sports is an integral part of one’s life. It provides an opportunity for young individuals and adults to learn skills together and discover more about each other’s similarities rather than differences. While the need for sports is global in perspective, the importance of being included in sports is not. This is because inclusiveness in sports is often challenged by many societal barriers and prejudices, with disabled children often denied opportunities to participate in sporting activities mainly due to the stigma attached to one’s physical or intellectual disabilities. According to a WHO report, about 15% of the global population lives with some form of disability or chronic condition. Due to their sedentary lifestyle, children with disabilities are often twice as likely to suffer from obesity.
The 2020 Paralympics is changing the way that these disabilities are viewed by challenging the stereotypical ways in which disabled people are looked down upon. The prevalent view of disabilities is one that looks upon the illness or condition of a disabled individual as a “problem”. The aim of the Paralympics is to eliminate this notion by promoting a more social rather than a medical perspective on disabilities. Therefore, the message being pushed by this initiative is to show that disabled people are hampered lesser by their own impairments than they are by the barriers enforced upon them by society.
The Paralympics has opened doors to opportunities that people once thought could never exist. It has shown us the impact that inclusiveness can have on the lives of so many individuals, such as the participants of the upcoming event in 2020. We hope that such strong inclusiveness can be demonstrated in other aspects of life as well.
Neev community celebrated its annual sports event, Sarvajeet Diwas 2019-20 in December last year. Parents and grandparents of all ages participated in a plethora of events and the school celebrated their participation with loud cheers from the audience. Interesting bit to wonder about is that many students participate in races and other events with known champions competing in the same. They know somewhere that it is hard to win that race; that they may also be the last to finish the race. But what keeps them going? Do they believe that they too can win? Or are they not concerned about winning? It must be stemming from the sheer love of sports. The spirit, in either case, is the winner. It is indeed then Sarvajeet Diwas.