First-ever sports carnival in Chandigarh for persons on wheelchairs

Thirty-eight-year old Kaushalya from Himachal Pradesh is wheelchair-bound but she does not let her disability overpower her ability.

She is training for archery and fencing, as she is excited to be a participant at the first-ever sports carnival for persons on wheel-chairs to be held on April 16 at the famed Sukhna Lake here.

Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Banwarilal Purohit will flag off the event at the Sukhna Lake Sports Complex next Saturday at 4.30 p.m.

The event is being organised by the Chandigarh Spinal Rehab, Sector 28, a non-profit organisation working for the empowerment of lives of persons facing severe disabilities caused due to spinal cord or brain injury.

The uniqueness of the event is that all participants have been given an opportunity to participate in all sporting activities.

Giving information, Nicky P. Kaur, founder of Chandigarh Spinal Rehab, said: “Participants from across the country are participating in the event, including Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.

“This is a unique event which will see participation from over 50 wheelchair-bound persons and will include national boating and canoe racing championship for para-athletes, archery, fencing, javelin and a friendly kabbadi match.”

“It is our constant endeavour to add dignity and joy to their lives, which is why we are organising such an event.”

Earlier such events included amputees but this is a first time event in the country where persons with such severe neurological conditions like the spinal cord injury who have limited trunk balance are participating in canoeing and dragon-boat racing, she added.

Sumit, 29, one of the participants, said, “It is a wonderful experience to be a part of the event as it is helping in exercising as your full body is being used.

“I was earlier very scared of getting inside the water but once we had started, the fear was gone now. I was also apprehensive if I would be able to maintain our balance, but after I started, I managed that also,” said Sumit, who suffered spinal injury in 2010 in a car accident.

Hari Krishan is also one of the participants and is excited for this event.

“I went into the water for the first time after suffering the injury in 2017 while he was skiing and fell on his back after he made an attempt to jump from 20 feet. I feel such activities should be held in every state.”

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