Hundreds of people with disabilities participated in the ‘Bengaluru Walkathon’ at the Kittur Rani Chennamma Stadium here on Saturday.
The Samarthanam Trust organised the ninth edition of the event that saw the inauguration of the ASB Cup National Cricket Tournament for the Blind, slated to bring together visually-impaired cricketers from eight States across the country over the next week.
Starting Sunday, several rounds of cricketing will be held and 11 best players will be chosen from across teams to participate in an international tournament for the visually-impaired in Pakistan.
At the inaugural ceremony, Ananth Kumar, MP, underlined the need for a political consensus on addressing issues related to people with disabilities. He said he would bring this up for discussion in Parliament in the ongoing session. “By 2020, we must set a target to be able to reduce the number of people who suffer from visual impairments. All stakeholders must work together to make it happen,” he said.
Later, speaking on the sidelines, he told presspersons that he would speak to BCCI chief N. Srinivasan to get the cricketing body associated with cricket for the blind. He also said that he would speak to BJP leader Arun Jaitley on improving infrastructure and support to be able to organise a world cup tournament for the visually-challenged.
Teams from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Orissa, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are participating in the tournament. Each team includes people with different levels of visual-impairment, said S.P. Nagesh, president of the Cricket Association for the Blind.