“People with disabilities have abilities too and that is what this course is all about – making sure those abilities blossom and shine so that all the dreams you have can come true.” Adage attribution Mary McAleese.
The ‘India – Bangladesh Wheelchair Cricket Championship 2017’ hosted by India and organized by ‘Association for Disabled People’ and ‘Association for Special Educators and Allied Professionals’ in New Delhi was not just my success or your success story, instead it was about those 2.68 Crore Indians and 1.6 Crore Bangladeshi individuals who experience disability in their country respectively. This, first time ever ‘International Tournament’ organised for disabled people in India is no less than an achievement and is a huge step taken to sensitize people on how able are the so called “disabled.”
The fact that a game as strenuous as cricket requires vigorous action of the foot in itself is a proof of how hard it is to play such a laboured sport on wheelchair, however, there is absolutely no qualm, to discern that these talented athletes on wheelchair are as hardworking, competent and diligent as any other international player and deserve same amount of respect and support.
Aiming at reducing the much visible stigmatic prejudices against physically disabled, Mr. Pradeep Raj, Founder, Para Sports Foundation and international Para athlete along with collective effort of Mr. Vinayak, Habibullah and others took initiative and organised this three – day enthusiastic event from 12th to 14th of March 2017. The first match was very comprehensive, visionary Bangladeshis won the match, second day India won the match by chasing 185 runs in 15 won the series by 2-1. ‘Man, of the match’ trophy was given to Vicky Kumar from India and Habibullah from Bangladesh respectively.
It was a game of higher level, a game that common people like you and me cannot image to play; that running behind ball while sitting on your wheelchair, falling off it while preventing a four. People like you and me, refrain to go on field with an injury, one will have to salute the effort of these players who get to the ground without working legs, on wheelchair, knowing that if they fall off, they might not be able to get back to their wheelchairs again. Hence, we need to promote sports for the disabled, so that their residing potential it put to best of its use and as we see them play, we get inspired.
Bangladesh took the winning trophy home promising to carry forward the legacy; announcing that Bangladesh will organise the ASIAN CUP WHEEL CHAIR CRICKET CHAMPIONSHIP 2017, in the month of October. This will foresee increase in number of participation from various countries, enrooting change and proliferating potential possibilities for the physically challenged.
Moreover, this move will help various countries to build better relations with one another, specially the developing nations to work collectively for the same cause. There is an immense need for everybody; government, leaders, general citizens, to realise that physical disability does not limit one’s will, passion, determination and more importantly their ‘ability’ to make their dreams come true, be it a dream to become an international cricket player.
“The only disability is when people cannot see human potential.” – Debra Run