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Is the Indian sports infrastructure supportive of disabled athletes?

Is the Indian sports infrastructure supportive of disabled athletes?

In our country, events like Paralympics don’t garner much attention due to our singular enthusiasm for popular sports like cricket. While our para athletes strive for bare minimums, countries like Canada actually celebrate the success of their Paralympians.

According to WHO, there are about 650 million people in the world who are differently abled in some or the other way. Out of this, eighty percent live in developing countries like India. In India, several acts like the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 and the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities, 2006 are supportive of the need for individuals with disabilities to participate in sporting, recreational and leisure activities. When compared to ‘normal’ athletes and sportspersons, para athletes are often widely ignored, forced to strive harder than the able-bodied to master their sport. They also have to endure massive societal rejection and discrimination before they can make it to the international level. Besides, even when they do make it, competitions are few and far in between, and in developing countries like ours, they neither get support from the government nor recognition from the society.

People are unaware of such competitions and we don’t see crowds thronging to watch them. However, at the recent Rio Paralympic Games, India outperformed several countries by winning many medals for their exemplary display.

In our country, there is a major focus on field events, and this has led to the evolution of world beaters like Devendra Jhajharia and Mariyappan Thangavelu. Since 1968, India has won 12 medals in Paralympics, yet somehow we don’t recognise their efforts. These players have given their craft everything they’ve got and their stories are remarkable.

In an evident attempt to change the existing scenario, the union sports ministry released Rs. 83.7 lakhs in the previous financial year under the Khelo India Scheme for sports persons with disabilities. Our Sports Minister, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore believes that the revamped version of this scheme has allocated sufficient funds for the creation of specialised sports infrastructure for persons with disabilities.

Today, one can clearly see that people with disabilities are at par with everyone else, when it comes to making our country proud through achievements in sports. Most of these athletes come from rural backgrounds, and strive hard to succeed despite rampant corruption, fund deficits, and the overall apathy that plagues our system. It is high time we understood and acknowledged the struggle that they have to endure to qualify for, and win medals in global sporting events like the Paralympics.

Also Read: Dhyan Chand: A Role Model For Leaders

Hearing Impaired Students Recreate Saare Jahaan Se Accha in Sign Language with accompanying Djembe Drums

Hearing Impaired Students Recreate Saare Jahaan Se Accha in Sign Language with accompanying Djembe Drums

On the 15th of August in 1947, independent India was born – making many million hearts brim with joy in the afterglow of freedom. 72 years later, the day still evokes a similar emotion.

While events and celebrations in honour of this day are held throughout the country, and amongst Indian communities abroad, children with special needs at Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan are celebrating it in their own special way.

Over the last few months, these children have put in their tireless efforts to make our ‘Connecting Signs’ campaign a successful one. It is is a year-long endeavour, which has raised greater awareness around those who can’t speak or hear. This campaign has made people realise that, despite having limited abilities, these children are no less! They have boundless talent that can help make the world a beautiful place.

Djembe Circle is a musical therapy using drums that helps children with autism improve their hand-eye coordination and refine their social and motor skills. For children with other disabilities, the therapy helps build team coordination and rhythmic movement of the body, and allows participants to bond with other children over drumming.

Last year, our children recreated Jana Gana Mana in sign language as a part of the campaign, reaching more than two million views. Moving ahead with the same spirit this year, MBCN students chose to recite ‘Saare Jahaan se Accha’ in sign language. A popular verse penned by poet and politician Muhammad Iqbal in 1904, this poem has been immortalised as a song plenty of times, yet we are sure that this is definitely one of the most special versions.

As a progressive society, we love exploring new things all the time. However, to help those who need us the most, it is imperative that we first understand their language. Watch the video here:

Best house warming ceremony gift: handmade pooja box made by special children from MBCN

Best house warming ceremony gift: handmade pooja box made by special children from MBCN

Using their special abilities, and their burning passion to create something for the world, children at MBCN are proud to present their new creation, a one of a kind ‘Prayer Box’. Carefully crafted by deft hands, these prayer boxes are ideal for all homes.

With the learning they get at ‘Swayam’, our vocational training workshop, our special kids could fashion these gems expertly, and on their own. At Swayam, we recognize our responsibility towards the environment and therefore only promote the production of eco-friendly articles. We have always inculcated a pro-nature approach in our children, only sanctioning the use of biodegradable materials like wood. Applying the skills they acquire through hard work and practice, our students create products every day. It is success stories like these that validate the work we do to empower our specially-abled students with skills that make them feel confident and independent.

prayer box 1

These handmade wooden pooja boxes make for one of the best housewarming gifts you can get for a friend. It is great for storing pooja items, and it helps bringing positivity and serenity to a house. You can get it for yourself too; have your own pooja box to keep your oil lamps, essence sticks and other pooja samagri safe.

prayer box 2

Not to forget the value your purchase will add to the lives of our special students! Though the joy they receive is beyond any monetary reward for us, your purchase will not just encourage the use of eco-friendly materials and products, it will also help the special children make a vital contribution to our economy.

prayer box 3

You can easily find the prayer box for sale on our website, along with other amazing products made at ‘Swayam’. Our specially-abled children from Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan also craft tissue paper boxes, slip pads, make-up kits, wall decorations, office decorative items, jewellery boxes, envelopes and leaf bags. Purchasing any of the items on our website will help us go a long way in making our students feel self-sufficient and financially independent. Join us and create a world where all children feel warm and welcomed.

MBCN ka Fitness Challenge – Hum Fit Toh India Fit

MBCN ka Fitness Challenge – Hum Fit Toh India Fit

Every day is another chance to get stronger, to eat better, to live healthier and to be the best version of you.

Fitness, as we know it, is associated mostly with sports. However, it is equally significant for the health and well being of non-athletes as well. Taking this thought forward, our Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore initiated Hum Fit toh India Fit – a fitness challenge aimed to make India fitter and better. He has urged the citizens of India to share their fitness mantra and regime online. This challenge has spread like wildfire and has brought about a fitness revolution in the country.



Our students at MBCN, too, have taken up this challenge to prove that despite their disabilities, they are fitter than most of us. Here’s a sneak peak!

Take a cue from these children and strive towards making ourselves fitter and healthier. Because #HumFitTohIndiaFit!

Also Read: Medical Insurance Facility Now for MBCN’s Special Kids

Special children need special school, special educators

Special children need special school, special educators

“All true learning is experience, everything else is just information.”

To prosper and grow into independent individuals, specially-abled children need a lot more than mere studies. They require a special school that takes care of not just their education, but also their overall development.

Dedicated towards the betterment of these special children, Ponty Chadha Foundation’s Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan creates a nurturing environment for the growth and well-being of its students. From classroom learning to therapies that help overcome disabilities, children are provided a holistic environment at MBCN, allowing them to become an integral part of the society.

classroom learning

At MBCN, apart from basic education, we include our students in therapy sessions that help them fluently communicate with the world, move about without any assistance, and not be dependent on anyone else for the tiniest of jobs. Our special educators help us in creating a homely environment filled with empathy and care towards the special children.

Special Children Playing Activity

Kids Playing

Speech and language are instruments that let us express ourselves, and our fully functioning limbs help us stay connected to the world. At MBCN, we help children with speech defects overcome the difficulties they face while communicating with the world. We also have physiotherapy for children who can’t move freely, and occupational therapy for autistic and other disabled children who are hypersensitive or under-sensitive to light, touch and noise.

special school

By empowering individuals with speech defects, intellectual impairments, cerebral palsy, autism, hearing impairment and other similar disabilities, MBCN works towards creating the possibility of an optimum quality of life for them. With a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach towards betterment of the society, we ensure that each child at MBCN gets nourishment in their growing years, so that they prosper and scale the highest peaks in their adult lives.

International Day of Yoga: Union of Mind & Body

International Day of Yoga: Union of Mind & Body

Yoga – food for soul and mind that helps a person get in touch with his or her inner self. Derived from the sanskrit work ‘yuj’, yoga means oneness. A wonderful workout regime, people practice yoga to strike the right balance between mind and body.

nternational Day of Yoga

On June 21, we celebrate the International Day of Yoga to unite the world towards one common goal: healthy, peaceful lifestyle. From improving flexibility to building muscle strength and improving posture, yoga protects and maintains bone health for a robust skeletal structure. Improving the immunity, it liberates the mankind from all physical ailments. In addition to this, it elevates the mood, calms you down, and maintains stable blood pressure. Not just another exercise, yoga is the best route to connect with nature and realise your true potential.

While the world is adopting yoga for a better life, why should we Indians stay behind. To contribute to the #HumFittoIndiaFit initiative, we at Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, encourage our students to practice yoga for a healthier lifestyle and right attitude. Let’s take a look at how our children with special needs stay in the pink of health with yoga.

Soccer Fever Grips Global Citizens Once Again

Soccer Fever Grips Global Citizens Once Again

With FIFA world cup just around the corner, Soccer fever is on. Fans across 200 countries wait for this moment to cheer for their favorite teams, which seems no less than a festival. With such widespread fan following, India isn’t behind any other Soccer loving nation!

Now that we’ve stated the obvious, let’s shed some light on the amazing facts around Soccer and India.

To begin with, Soccer has been a sport in India for more than 100 years. And you would be amazed to know that Asia’s oldest Soccer club, Mohun Bagan A.C., has its roots in Kolkata.

India is currently at the 97th rank in the FIFA worldwide rankings, and with Sunil Chhetri leading the Indian team, high hopes are pinned on breaking records and setting new ones.

The most played, loved and watched- by- millions sport has left our specially abled children at MBCN awestruck. Overcoming all odds in life, our superstars aced the game like pros. In recent times, our special children have not just won several matches, but have won gazillions of hearts with their sheer dedication and love towards the sport.

Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan’s powerful five player team won the Football State Games that were organised by Special Olympics Bharat – Delhi, at The Tagore International School. Another budding footballer, Praveen Nailwal, has won a gold medal in Unified Football. He was also awarded a sum of ₹62,000 from the Delhi Government as a token of appreciation. Our special children not just make us proud, but inspire us to give our best, overcoming all the difficulties.

We, at The Ponty Chadha Foundation ensure that each child at Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan – a school for the specially abled children, get the opportunity to come out with flying colors.

MBCN Soccer 1

MBCN Soccer 2

Our faculty and highly equipped staff focus on cultivating not just creativity in our specially abled children, but also encourage them to explore their potential and walk on the path of a successful future. We help children with special needs become independent by empowering them and their families with the care they need. At MBCN, we create an environment for optimum quality of life for such kids, their trainees and the families.

Indian celebrities who didn’t let their disability get the better of them!

Indian celebrities who didn’t let their disability get the better of them!

They say disability is a state of mind, and these inspiring souls have proved it to be true! Be it taking centre stage with spellbinding performances that leave the audience speechless, or grabbing accolades and medals in sports that serve as inspiration for the rest of us, these celebrities have never let their disabilities get the better of them.

Sudha Chandran: A fine actress, and an acclaimed Indian classical dancer, Sudha Chandran needs no introduction. At the age of 16, Sudha met with an accident that ultimately led to the amputation of her leg. The setback, however, did not stop her from dancing, or dreaming. With a prosthetic Jaipur Foot, she went on to become a successful actress, and received many awards for her talent. Her unyielding spirit has been a source of inspiration for many.

H. Boniface Prabhu: Being a wheelchair tennis player may seem like an unthinkable vocation for some, but not for H. Boniface Prabhu. Despite turning into a quadriplegic at the age of 4, Prabhu went beyond his disability and chased his dreams with immense passion. His hard work and fervor made him a successful wheelchair tennis player, earning him a medal at the 1998 World Championships. In 1994, he received the Padma Shri from the government of India for his notable contribution to sports.
H-Boniface-Prabhu (2)

Hrithik Roshan: Hard to imagine, but true! A powerhouse of talent, Hrithik Roshan has the world at his feet, but a lot of people don’t know that the successful actor suffered from speech impairment. At the tender age of 6, Hrithik stammered, and had to go through many challenging speech therapy sessions in order to combat his disability. If it wasn’t for his sheer determination and persistence, we would not have had the privilege of seeing him on the big screen.
Hrithik-Roshan (2)

Rana Daggubati: Strong and fierce. These are the words that resonate with Rana Daggubati. Charming and talented, the actor is blind in one eye. Not many people knew this about him, until it was revealed in a video last year. Soon, the video went viral. The information came as a shock to everyone, since they never noticed Rana’s disability due to his larger than life personality and unstoppable enthusiasm towards work.

The way you look at life makes all the difference, and at the end of the day, it is pivotal for us to not limit ourselves. Disabilities come in all shapes and forms, and while it is important to work on bettering ourselves in every way possible, it is all the more important to not let those disabilities define us.

Mother’s day for mothers of children with special needs

Mother’s day for mothers of children with special needs

It goes without saying that no one in the world can replace the love and place of a mother. From teaching us how to tie our shoelaces for the first time, to guiding us to lead successful lives, being a mom is not an easy job. Yet these amazing women do it with such grace and care, and without a frown on their face.

To recognize and honour these loving and caring souls, who form a pivotal part and parcel of our lives, Mother’s Day was established in 1908. Since then, the day has turned into a popular tradition, wherein we pamper our moms with all sorts of wonderful things. But with that being said, the scenario is different for mothers of children with special needs.
mother day 1

For mothers of children with special needs, Mother’s Day rarely means a dinner out or jewellery gifts. They do celebrate the day, but they celebrate it in a different way. They find happiness in knowing that they are nurturing their child’s health as well as their own. They take satisfaction in keeping a positive attitude. They take pride in knowing a vast list of medical terminologies and education jargons. They feel happy to become experts on their child’s diagnosis and education plans.
mothers day 2

We, at Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan meet with mothers of children with special needs on a regular basis. They all share their highs and lows with us and we love to interact with them. We understand being a mother of a child with special needs is not an easy job to do. That’s why we conduct training sessions that help them cope with constant pressure and help them raise and understand their kids in a better way. Not only this, we also conduct events that help mothers connect with other mothers of kids with special needs. This helps them share their experiences on a personal level.
mothers day 3

If you are a mom of a child with special needs, then we salute your efforts, and the unconditional love, with which you love and take care of the apple of your eye. We honour you for your constant outpouring of love and goodness. You are the backbone of your family, and no one can ever replace you!

¬Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.

Empowering the Specially-Abled with Innovations in Technology

Empowering the Specially-Abled with Innovations in Technology

‘Right to Communication’ is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as one of the most fundamental human right, but not all of us get the privilege of exercising this basic right to express and communicate. Certain physical and cognitive disorders make it impossible for nearly 1 billion people to communicate effectively. Imagine being able to think, feel, observe, and yet, not be understood. How would you feel if your freedom of expression was curtailed in such a manner?
On the bright side, however, there are people who are actively working to change the status quo with breakthrough innovations in assistive technology. On the occasion of this National Technology Day, let’s jot down some of the most useful technological inventions that hold the potential to significantly transform the lives of the specially-abled amongst us.

Assistive Technology for the Differently-Abled
1. Wearable technology
Lechal Smart Shoes: It’s like using GPS to navigate, but without looking at your smartphone. Lechal Smart Shoes are designed to be those helping hands that aid the visually-impaired in navigating through the world. For instance, one vibration on the left foot tells the user to take a left turn, while two vibrations on the right and one on the left notify a wrong turn.

Assistive Vision Smart Glasses: Built to help people with vision impairment, these smart glasses consist of 2 small cameras, GPS, gyroscope, headphones, compass, and a transparent OLED display. Using these hi-tech glasses, the blind can easily walk around unfamiliar places and identify obstacles on the way.
smart glasses

2. Apps
Vaakya: An app for the speech and hearing impaired, the Vaakya app works on the AAC (augmentative and alternate communication) principle. It is a picture-based app for Android smartphone users that also works in offline mode. With customisation as its core feature, it allows users to record full sentences in any language and associate them with a picture. It also allows to create multiple user accounts for the patient as well as the caregiver. Download here:
vaakya app

Eye-D: The Eye-D app for the visually-challenged allows smartphones to talk back. The app offers features that make the blind person aware of his surroundings, navigate easily, and read out printed text. It helps the users function in a better way, by meeting most of their daily assistance needs.

3. Mobility Devices
Skinniest Disability Scooter: A four-wheeled scooter designed for the disabled, the Skinniest Disability Scooter works the same as any other scooter, but with added features and convenience for the specially-abled. It’s like a motorised wheelchair that helps the disabled navigate through traffic at the top speed of 10 miles per hour. With a canopy and lockable doors, it provides safety and comfort while riding out on the road.
disability scooter

Assistive Cars (Turn Plus): Making cars accessible for persons with physical disabilities, Turn Plus seats can be easily installed in any car. The mechanism of these seats allow flexibility for specially-abled persons, without interfering with the vehicle’s structure and functioning.
assistive car

4. Assistive Devices
Braille eReader: A Kindle-style reader that helps the blind and partially-sighted indulge in the pleasures of reading. It also helps them understand graphics, figures and graphs.
assistive device

Sesame Smartphone: Normal smartphones are not equipped with features to assist people with special needs, but the Sesame Smartphone is. Its front facing camera captures even the smallest of head movements, keeping gesture recognition at its core. Voice control too is an integral part of this smartphone, giving a hands-free experience to the user.
sesame smartphone

By empowering those with special needs, technology as an assistive companion has made lives far more comfortable and convenient. Apart from raising their quality of life, such technological advancements aid inclusion and equality by attempting to level the playing field.
If you’re aware of any such tech inventions that can help change lives of the specially-abled, share with us. Let’s help each other live better.

International Mother Earth Day – Save our planet from PLASTIC!

International Mother Earth Day –  Save our planet from PLASTIC!

The Earth is regarded and worshipped in many countries as the ‘Mother’ of all things natural and beautiful. Man’s total dependency on the Earth for survival, and the Earth’s nurturing ways of providing for man’s every need, makes it nothing less than a doting mother.

Mother Earth Day: When it all began

To celebrate and honour this relationship with the Earth and its ecosystems, the UN declared April 22 of every year as “International Mother Earth Day”. Recognised nearly a decade ago, this day reaffirms the UN’s effort to achieve a “balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of present and future generations, besides promoting harmony with nature and the Earth”. Every year, a specific theme is attributed to this day to address the current issues on a global level. This year’s theme is “End Plastic Pollution”, owing to the ever expanding piles of plastic garbage and water bodies choking on plastic trash.

Why was this theme chosen?

Chasing ease and convenience, man invented plastic. And everything changed. From poisoning the marine life to 50-feet tall landfill mountains, plastic is everywhere. Here are some surprising facts about our plastic consumption:
1. Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
2. 50% of the total plastic is just used once and thrown away.
3. At least 8 million tons of plastic enters the oceans each year.
4. 60-90% of marine litter is plastic-based.
5. There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way.

Source 1
Source 2

What can we do to end plastic pollution?
We all use plastic in one way or another. Take a look around, and 90% of the things around you are made of plastic, whether it is a chair or a computer. The proposed benefits of plastic are far outweighed by its drawbacks, due to the toxicity it has introduced in our lives.

The amount of plastic garbage that we have generated is a grave problem that doesn’t come with a quick-fix solution. We all must understand our role, change our habits, and adopt an alternative lifestyle that minimises the use of plastic. Here’s how we can help in defeating the monster that we have created:

1. Reuse shopping bags, water bottles, plastic containers, etc. as many times as possible.
2. Say no to single-serve packaging and disposable plastic items. Carry reusable items and utensils wherever possible.
3. Volunteer at a beach/river clean up drive.
4. Say no to small plastic items like straws, lighters, etc. and go for traditional alternatives.

The Ponty Chadha Foundation is doing its part in curtailing the use of plastic and the pollution caused by it. Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan – a school run by PCF, encourages and facilitates its specially-abled students to make eco-friendly products. These products are showcased at exhibitions and sold both online and offline. This activity not only makes them financially independent but instills in them a sense of responsibility towards the environment.

This International Mother Earth Day, let’s learn from our kids at MBCN, and pledge to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as we can. Let’s end plastic pollution together!