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India’s specially-abled contingent heading to France to make its mark at Abilympics

Participants going to Abilympics to be held in France from March 23, training hard to get laurels for India in training camps organised across the country

The specially-abled people need to be made inclusive of the mainstream not by just educating and training them in some skill but also inculcating in them a spirit of competition. This is precisely the aim of the 10th International Abilympics or Olympics of Abilities which are vocational skills competitions specifically designed for specially-abled to enable them to expose their unique talents.

The competitions are held in skills in a way similar to Olympic and Paralympic Games in sports.

Slated to be held in France’s Metz city which is located in the northeast part of the country from March 23 to 26, the event will see Indian participation in the form of a 13-member strong contingent. These specially-abled persons who have been selected from across the nation, will be participating in different categories including information and communication technology, poster designing, photography, painting, tailoring, dress making, bakery, and jewellery making among others.

In all there are 45 competitive skill categories at the event in France.

Thirteen participants from India are honing their skills further in camps

At present the Indian participants are attending training camps which are being conducted across the country including painting and embroidery at Delhi’s Lady Irwin College, tailoring and dress making at Apparel Training & Design Centre and poster designing at SGT University, both in Gurugram, bakery at St. Regis Hotel, Mumbai, restaurant service in Efcee Sarovar, Bhavnagar among others.

Among those representing India are Omkar Deorukhkar , Priyanka Dabade, Manhar Chauhan, Chetan Pashilkar, Mohammad Shamim Alam, Bhagyashri Nadimetala, Narender Luthra, Mohammad Kashif Khan, Mohit Majety, Avinash KS, Farukh Sheikh, Sai Krishnan and Rajneesh Aggarwal.

These training sessions have been organised by National Abilympic Association of India and Sarthak Educational Trust. Speaking to the media, Dr. Jitendra Aggarwal, Founder CEO of SET said that the aim is “to promote Abilympics in the country and provide exposure and equal opportunities for disabled persons to advanced technologies in various vocational, leisure and living skills thus boosting their confidence as the Abilympics demonstrate the professional excellence of persons with disabilities in a competitive situation.”

The participants in Abilympics are participating in varied categories including dress-making

The Abilympics at Metz is being organized by the Abilympics France and WorldSkills France and it will see participation by 1500 competitors from across the globe. The first Abilympics competition was held in Tokyo in 1981 to commemorate the United Nations’ International Year of Disabled Persons.

Indian participants have brought glory to the nation in the previous editions of this international meet. In 2016 at Bordeaux, France, Jabalpur’s Rajneesh Aggarwal who is bound to wheelchair won a silver medal in web development. He also received a special prize in 2011 when the event was held in South Korea.

P. Sai Krishnan, a photographer from Chennai who suffers from locomotor disability won a silver medal in Japan in 2007 and also got a Certificate of Appreciation at France in 2016.