Being born a female with disability in a developing country like India has enabled her with a sensitized world view. Being a case of congenital hemiplegia herself, her mother a paraplegic for the last 15 years; and being raised in a family of Army Officers, these factors sensitized her towards the cause of Inclusive society & Peace since a young age.
Since the tender age of 8 years, having watched and learnt from her mother coping with her disability. This motivation drove her to combat and overcome her challenges with the same vigour and also to be of service to other people struggling with a myriad of challenges like disability, lack of infrastructural facilities, depression, gender discrimination and poverty.
She has worked actively for causes like educating under-privileged children, the National Service Scheme; vocational training for rehabilitated sex-workers & AIDS affected children and emotional & physical rehabilitative techniques for physically challenged individuals. Sport has a universal appeal that cuts across the barriers of varying society and culture and truly promotes inclusion. Being a benefactor of the positive impact of sport, she has always strived to take this message to the society. She has participated at various national and international forums for Sport for Development & Peace, drafted and implemented action plans to promote development through sport among people living with physical challenges.
Today, at 24 years of age, she is an International Para-athlete (sports for physically challenged athletes) with a Silver Medal at the World Athletics Grand Prix, Tunis 2014 and Psychological Counsellor with a Masters in Psychology from Delhi University. Combining my passion for inclusive sport development & Peace and an active contributor to the Olympic Truce Peace Campaign as well as an alumnus of the Youth Leadership Program conducted by the United Nations Office of Sport for Development & Peace (UNOSDP) in Tokyo.
The Commonwealth Youth Affairs Division has assigned her to be an Asian Representative on the Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development & Peace (CYSDP) Working Group, consisting of a total of 10 individuals selected from all 53 Commonwealth Nations. On International Youth Day 2014, I addressed a national conference organized by PHD Chambers of Commerce, expounding strategies for Inclusive sport development and also conducted an interactive session with care – givers of cancer patients, to help them develop resilience needed by them to be able to effectively support patients under their care.
With a desire to lead from the front and inspire a collective passion towards these causes, she and her mother have established a Foundation, named Wheeling Happiness, aimed at enhancing the emotional health of persons living with physical, emotional and social challenges in India. In today’s global age, awareness regarding disabilities and impairment has been elevated greatly. However, even those with the best intentions have an outlook of sympathy towards persons with challenges.
TOPIC: ‘Sport Beyond Competition’