Children with Intellectual Disability make their way to Los Angeles
RDT emphasizes the inclusion and social integration of children with disability through education, cultural and sports/games. It was in 2010, January 8th to 14th, RDT and Special Olympics Bharath-United AP State jointly organized National Athletics Championship for children with intellectual disability at RDT Sports Village, Ananthapuram with the support from the district administration. Two girls namely Fakrubi and Revathi trained by RDT represented India in Athens in 13th Summer Olympics in 2011 and won 1-Gold Medal. In the same game Fakrubi won 1-Silver and Bronze medal in shotput and 100 metres running race competitions, boosting the image of remote Ananthapuramu district to a sky height. One of the organizations namely PENUKONDA SAHITHI GAGAN MAHAL honoured them with, ‘Gems of Ananthapuram’ Award in 2011. Recently another athlete by name Balakrishna was honoured with the same award.
Deriving the same inspiration another two girls namely Venkata Ramanamma and Nagaveni represented India in Floor Hockey in Special winter Olympics world Games in Korea and won gold medals. It is a matter of great pride that 21 athletes trained by RDT in athletics, football, badminton and bocce games had secured 26 medals comprised of 10-Gold, 14-Silver and 2-Bronze in Asia Pacific Special Olympics Summer Games held in Australia. Spain Special Olympics Committee made a special invitation to Athletes of Andhra Pradesh to take part in Invitation Tournament held in Barcelona, Spain, in 2014. 3 out of 4 athletes who represented Andhra Pradesh are from RDT and they got silver and a bronze medal in Badminton.
All is now set for Special Olympics World Summer Games to be held in Los Angeles, United States of America in July-August 2015. Special Olympics Bharath is a National Sporting Federation accredited by Special Olympics International which is coordinating the whole process in liaison with respective Special Olympics State Bodies functioning in different States of India. Special Olympics Andhra Pradesh was located in Hyderabad before the division of AP and it is called SOB Telangana. RDT has been recognized by SOB to constitute Special Olympics Body for the residual Andhra Pradesh comprised of 13 districts. It will be done in a couple of months from now.
A team of 14 girls and boys from Andhra Pradesh and 2 from Telangana are going to Los Angeles. 13 out of 14 Athletes are from RDT. The team includes 7 girls. They will represent India in 7 sporting events namely Volley Ball (4), Badminton (2), Power Lifting (2), Football (1), Hand ball (1), Table Tennis (1) and Basketball (2), 3 coaches, one additional staff and 3 Spanish volunteers are also going to LA to support our Athletes. SOB sponsored the travel of 13 Athletes and 2 Coaches while RDT pays for 3 persons accompanying the team which includes the Director of CBR, 1 Coach and Special Olympics Co-ordinator, Spain who is training children with intellectual disability in RDT-Special Olympics Sports Village at Bhathalapalli Mandal in Ananthapuram district.
SOB is sending a delegation of over 300 Athletes, Coaches and Staff to participate in 13 sporting disciplines at LA, USA. They compete with 7,000 Athletes representing 177 countries. This is going to be the largest sports event which will be witnessed by over 500,000 spectators. First Lady Michelle Obama will inaugurate the Olympic Games on July 25th. Executive Director conveyed her best wishes to both 13-Athletes and specially appreciated the coaches and parents of Athletes for their encouragement and support which she considered very important to bring the talent of these children to limelight.
Enric who is RDT’s Special Olympics Coordinator mentioned that, I have been associated with RDT Special Olympics Training Program for Children with Intellectual Disability since 2011. The objective of this program is the integration of the children with disabilities in the community, to fight descrimination against them and to which inequality between persons with and without disability.
Director of CBR program said that, “We started this program in a small way but the results are astonishing and this motivated us to go in a big way to achieve bigger results. It is not only a pride for RDT and parents but also for the whole of Ananthapuramu which is now a Hub of Special Olympics gems. Invisible blessings from Father Vincent Ferrer, support of Sister Anne Ferrer, Executive Director who is the founder of CBR Program in RDT and dedicated commitment of Mr.Moncho Ferrer, Program Director for the promotion of sports and games help us to further take this program to new heights in coming years”
One of the parents by name B.Veera Reddy shared his feelings with a sense of pride in his face. “I am from CHINTHALA CHERUVU Village in PEDDAVADUGURU Mandal in Ananthapuram district. I own a piece of dry land. I studied upto intermediate and worked as a private driver for many years. I sustained multiple fractures in a road accident and became a person with physical disability. I have a son and a daughter. I was subjected to humiliation whenever people in our village used to call my daughter a mad girl. I never thought that her life would take a new turn, if I enroll her into special school for children with intellectual disability at BK Samudram in 2010. She has a speech problem but is much better now. She calls us affectionately and responds to all our instructions. She is very healthy due to good food and exercises. In fact we never expected these positive changes in our daughter. We are so excited that she is traveling in a flight to go to America. All those who were calling her mad are now astonished and admire that she is really great and I am very fortunate ‘. We felt extremely happy when news about our daughter’s visit to US was published in a newspaper and we felt extremely happy when everyone comes to our house to praise my daughter. I now can say confidently that my daughter is better 1000 times than before. Today is a real feast for me to see my daughter in joyful spirits receiving blessings from one and all and I wish all children good luck in their efforts to bring good name to RDT, their parents and to our district”