Port Blair, Sept. 27: For the first time in the islands, Special Olympic Bharat is organising a State Level Special Olympic Sports Meet from 30th Sept. to 2nd Oct. 2012 at Port Blair. The special sports meet is meant for intellectually challenged people above 8 years of age.

Special Olympic is a global movement led by athletes with an intellectual disability who use sports to demonstrate the capabilities of all people and to build inclusive tolerant communities.

The sports meet will be inaugurated by the Chief Secretary, A&N Islands, Shri Anand Prakash on 1st October 2012 at 9.30 am in the Netaji Stadium, Port Blair.

The Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs accorded Special Olympic Bharat ‘priority status’ by including it in its list of sports federations in the country, thus bringing mentally disabled athletes on par with non-disabled athletes.

Special Olympics is specially for people with intellectual disability. Three percent of the world’s population suffers from this disability as per WHO. If we can give them opportunities within the framework of their abilities, they become changed people in the Society. Just like all people, physical exercise affects them to the degree of 25 percent. If they start playing games, take part in competitions and start entering society, their confidence, courage, determination and character will build up. Thus for them it is a natural way of building themselves upto a higher level of acceptability than what they already have. This is the main philosophy behind Special Olympic. SO the mission is to provide them with sports along with other cultural activities.

Special Olympics Bharat is the Indian Programme. At first it was knowsn as Special Olympics India and run on a very small scale. In 2001 it was looked at more seriously and then Special Olympic Bharat was constituted. In India the population of intellectually disabled people is thirty million. Most people perceive intellectually disabled people as mad and that they do not or cannot contribute to society in any manner. Therefore, they condemn these intellectual disability, 75 percent have an IQ below 70 right up to one percent. But the degree of normalcy that exists in the child of 70 down wards is amazing. And this is not a community to be discarded the way it is. Thus the mission is to provide year round sports to all children with intellectual disabilities.