The joy of triumph and the acceptance of defeat… Witness it all at Vegam 2014, an athletic meet for special children

Shouldn’t we make it possible for physically and intellectually challenged children to experience the thrill of competing, the camaraderie of team games, the euphoria of victory and the stoic acceptance of defeat? Well Vegam 2014, an athletic meet of track and field events for differently-abled and special children seeks to make this possible. Organised by Chennai Social Service (CSS), Vegam 2014 is to be held on February 8 at the Singaram Pillai School playground in the city, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Create awareness

Vegam is envisaged not just as a platform for special kids to experience sports and showcase their talent, but also to raise awareness on the need for sports and the importance of physical fitness among these children. “Unlike ‘normal’ kids, these kids have no chance to experience sports that is vital for every child’s physical and mental development. The enthusiasm and delight we saw on their faces at last year’s events gives us the motivation to continue holding it year after year,” mentions software professional R. Venkatraman, a volunteer with CSS.

CSS had earlier organised events such as chess and carrom tournaments for hearing- and speech-impaired students, besides earlier editions of Vegam. Vegam 2013 had 500 participants.

“While we do need funds for holding the event, what we need even more is volunteers,” says organic farmer Satish Bonthu, also a volunteer with CSS.

With about 1,500 online members and 75 active volunteers, including college students, corporate professionals, businessmen and homemakers, CSS addresses several other social concerns too — such as being scribes for visually challenged students, sapling planting, providing health education among the less privileged, etc. CSS has networked with around 65 special schools and homes in the city for Vegam 2014, and 800 challenged and special children are expected to participate. The events will be held in separately for boys and girls under three age categories (six to 10, 11 to 14, and 15 and above), and according to the level of disability.

(To participate or volunteer for People wishing to volunteer and those wishing to participate in the sports events of Vegam 2014, call may contact 98415-50476 / 87540-45125)