Chennai: The two-day South Zone Regional Abilympics, also known as the Chennai Abilympics, was inaugurated by Governor Banwarilal Purohit here on Friday. The event, held every year, aims at testing the competitors' mental, physical and creative abilities. Participants get a chance to display skills at everything from computer programming to Bakery to floral arrangement. What makes this event interesting and very touching is that its participants are all differently-abled.
For instance, there was 22-year-old Ghulam Ahmed Raja, a 50% visually impaired, aerospace engineering student who designed a poster for an ice cream shop and hoped to win the desktop publishing competition at the Tattv?loka Auditorium in Chennai. Similarly, another 22-year old, Sanchit Khule from Pune who is 100% visually impaired, studying at IIT Madras, was there. Though he studies coding at the college, he found floral arrangement interesting and took part in it.
Organised every year, its events test competitors' mental, physical and creative abilities. Participants get a chance to display skills at everything from computer programming to Bakery to floral arrangement.
The event hosted by the National Abilympics Association of India (NAAI), under the aegis of Sarthak Educational Trust with the support of The Hans Foundation, witnessed over 60 people with disabilities (PwDs) participate in various vocational skills competitions on first day. The day-2 on Saturday will see job fairs in which about 25 companies will participate at NSDC for Differently Abled, (NSTI) Campus (VRC for Handicapped), Guindy Industrial Estate, Chennai.
Apart from Governor Purohit, the inaugural ceremony was graced by Dr. V Saroja, Minister for Social Welfare and Nutritious Noon Meal Programme, NAAI president Krishan Kalra and Dr. Jitender Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Sarthak and Secretary General- NAAI.
"Abilympics have been the Olympics showcasing the abilities and tremendous competitive zeal of PwDs (people with disabilities)", said Dr. Aggarwal. His Sarthak educational trust and the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation have come together to sign a MOU that plans to train over five lakh PwDs from the southern states in the field of agriculture by providing livelihood model training to the PwDs in the rural areas.
Governor Purohit in his address stressed that the differently-abled face many challenges when looking to develop employable skills and in gaining meaningful employment. A survey done by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People (NCPEDP) has shown that the PwD percentage in the multinational companies is as less as 0.05% of the total workforce. Although it is mandate for the government organisation to have 3% of the total work force reserved for the differently-abled people....