The Optimist Citizen

Two differently abled girls from SOS Village Bhopal will represent India in the 2017 Special Olympics Winter Games in Austria

Sports play an integral role in developing a cohesiveness and mental sharpness for any individual, playing any game. Especially, for those suffering from a mental or physical disability, sports can help them in going much beyond cohesiveness and can help them in gaining a new life. Two girls, Vidushi and Kiran, from the SOS Children’s Village, Khajuri Kalan, Bhopal have reaffirmed this impact of Sports. They have been shortlisted in the final round to represent India in the Special Olympics Winter Games to be held in Austria this year.

SOS Children’s Village Khajuri Kalan, located in Bhopal, provides rehabilitation, long-term care, training and allied services for physically challenged as well as special-needs children who have been abandoned by their families. Vidushi, a 4 day old baby then, was brought to SOS children’s village, Varanasi in 1999. Later it was found that she suffered from vocal and hearing impairment. After the best possible treatment being given, it was found that she was also mentally challenged, which led to her transfer to SOS children’s village, Khajuri Kalan. With years of training, she can now express herself through sign language. In 2016, she participated in the Football National Championship, Himachal Pradesh in which she led the team of Madhya Pradesh and won a Gold Medal.

Kiran had a similar story too. She was brought home to SOS Children’s Village, Latur as a day-old baby in 1996. As she started growing up, it was found that she can hear but cannot speak and had a problem of drooling too. Due to these issues, she was transferred to SOS children’s village, Khajuri Kalan. She started taking part in sports at the age of 10 and started winning prizes and medals. In 2013, she participated in the Football National Championship,Haryana in which she led the team of Madhya Pradesh and won a Bronze Medal. After that, she won Silver Medal in Badminton with her wonderful performance in National Championship Camp held in Mumbai in 2014. In 2015, she got the chance to go for football training to Yamuna Nagar, Haryana and came out as the winner at the National Championship. Seeing her glorious performance in National Championship Games, Special Olympic Bharat (SOB) has confirmed her position in International Competition (Winter Games) which will be held in Austria in 2017.

SOS Children’s Village Khajuri Kalan has been producing such athletes. Three SOS Children represented India at Special Olympics held in Los Angeles in 2015. Dolly, Shruti, and Vijay were part of Indian contingent to Los Angeles Special Olympics. Vidushi and Kiran haven’t just defied expectations and succeeded in their lives but have also become a source of inspiration for us all.

Khyati Pathak | TOC

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