Wheeling into the playfield against all odds

rdt published date January 13, 2020    rdt published author rdt

  • 42 women with disabilities from IDT Handicrafts participated in different sports, many of them for the first time in their life.
  • Although the event has ended, these women are motivated to continue practising and some of them may participate in the Community Running Day of the V Anantapur Ultramarathon on 22nd January 2020.

42 women with disabilities from IDT Handicrafts (Integrated Development Trust) in Anantapur achieved a major feat on 3rd January, 2020 as they were one of the first and biggest groups of women with disabilities in the region to practice and play sports, individually and in teams. The event was organised by Rural Development Trust in collaboration with Motivation, India, an NGO that works towards enhancing independence of people with mobility disabilities in India and globally.

For many women, this was the first time they are indulging in sports activities and games in their life. “Initially they were hesitant about the idea and doubted that they would be able to participate in sports. They were also worried about losing out on their work at the handicrafts workshop but we had to keep encouraging them. Once they began training, they started enjoying it and were eager to practice every day. As we started nearing the event day, they did not care about the weather or time and ended up practicing until 9 PM,” says Safia Begum, co-ordinator of IDT.

The proposal for this event was put forward by Mr. Praveen Kumar, assistant regional manager at Motivation India for South India. “If everybody else can play sports, why not these women? This is why I wanted to organise this event. Regular rules for games have been applied in this event and these women have showed great enthusiasm and potential. I am sure if provided with coaching, they can even participate in various competitions and move it forward” says Praveen Kumar.

42 women participated in various sports like racing, lemon and spoon race, volleyball, basketball, throwball and a relay race. Here are glimpses from the event:

Racing their way to the finish line. ©RDT


All about the balance in the lemon and spoon race ©RDT


An interesting game of volleyball ©RDT


Serving it right ©RDT


The two teams who played volleyball ©RDT


Enthusiasm and cheers galore ©RDT


Shooting for the basket ©RDT


Putting up with the tackle ©RDT


Passing the baton in the relay race ©RDT


Anne Ferrer congratulating the players ©RDT


“Games like volleyball and basketball seemed difficult initially. We were not able to serve or shoot for the basket properly and felt disappointed. But encouragement from all and the coaching really helped us. This is the first time I am playing sports in my life and I don’t want to stop,” says Sunkamma, who participated in the games and works in the jewellery-making centre of IDT at Bukkarayasamudram.

These women are now so motivated that they have decided to take time out their daily work schedules to continue practicing. They will also be participating in the Community Run event of the V Anantapur Ultramarathon (AUM) on 22nd January, 2020.


Pictures and Text: Felita Viegas

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