Walkathon with the differently-abled

People taking part in the second edition of Inclusive Walkathon from Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Under cloudy skies at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday, participants of the second edition of the Inclusive Walkathon were divided into pairs, with one of the two being differently abled.

The idea behind the initiative is to generate awareness about the challenges faced by differently-abled people and to develop an inclusive attitude among those without physical disabilities. In cases where both in a pair did not have physical disabilities, one was blindfolded.

Over 5,000 persons participated in the walkathon in two categories — 3 km and 5 km — which were flagged off by singer Vasu Dixit and actor Nirup Bhandari.

Major D.P. Singh, India’s first blade runner and a Kargil war veteran, who is the brand ambassador for the event, said, “There are many things that we cannot do. Does that mean we are disabled in it? I was never interested in long-distance running for marathons. It was only after losing my leg that I started running. The ability to do anything is only restricted by your mind. Open your mind and live your life.”

Shravini, who came along with two other differently-abled friends, said, “It is a great idea to pair one enabled person with one differently-abled person. This gives them a whole new perspective on the interactions and experiences of the differently-abled.”

Shabana, an athlete undertook the blindfolded walk, said she believes it a matter of mind over matter. “It is all in the mind. If you have made up your mind, you can do anything, irrespective of whether you are abled or disabled.”

Pavitra Y.S, trustee, India Inclusion Foundation, said the objective was to help people identify abilities in people, not disabilities. “Inclusion matters and we need to work towards it. Everybody has imperfections, but all of us are equal,” she said.

GRIT: The Major Story, co-authored by Major Singh, V.R. Ferose and Sriram Jaganathan, was launched after the walkathon.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 4:33:49 PM |

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