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Post Graduate Research ProgrammeOlympic Studies, Olympic Education, Organization and Management of Olympic Events Department of Sport Organisation and Management Faculty of Human Movement and Quality of Life Sciences University of Peloponnese & International Olympic Academy Athens, Greece Sports for Disabled People in India Olympic Pedagogy II Neeraj Kumar Mehra July 2011 1
Sports for Disabled People in India Contents I. Introduction II. What is DisabilityIII. Disability sportIV. The Role of Sport for People with Disabilities V. Organizations promoting Sports for Disable in IndiaVI. ConclusionVII. References Neeraj Kumar Mehra Page 2
Sports for Disabled People in IndiaIntroduction Today, the idea of people with a disability being able to participate in sport andphysical activity is not so uncommon. In many developed countries, opportunities existfrom the grassroots to elite levels for people with a disability to showcase their abilities insport and physical activity. But this is not the case in all parts of the world. Whilst therehas been progressive and positive change in quality of life for people with disabilities andtheir interest in participation in sport which is not only in many developed countries but indeveloping countries like India also. Studying it therefore, will help us to better understand and appreciate thecontribution of various earlier as well as latest policies and organizations for the promotionof disable sports in India.What is Disability? Anyone may experience disability at some point in his/her lifetime. Disability is anormal part of the human experience, and people with disabilities are part of all sectors ofthe community: men, women, and children; indigenous and non-indigenous; employers iand employees; students and teachers; consumers and citizensThe World Health Organization estimates that about 650 million (about 10 per cent of theworld population) around the world are differently abled people and of this it estimates, 80per cent live in developing countries.ii There are numerous definitions of disability and the debate surrounding appropriatedefinitions of disability have evolved over time. The World Health Organisation states that“disability (resulting from impairment) is a restriction or lack of ability to perform anactivity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.”Neeraj Kumar Mehra Page 3
Sports for Disabled People in India In „Declaration on the Rights of the Disabled Persons‟ on December 9, 1975,United Nations Assembly defined disabled person as “any person unable to ensure byhimself, wholly or partially, the necessities of a normal individual and/or social life, as aresult of deficiency, either congenital or not, in his or her physical or mental capabilities.“Which further defines persons with disabilities (PWD) as persons who have long-termphysical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments, which, in interaction with variousbarriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis withothers? Statistics on disability are difficult to compare internationally and also disabilitystatistics do not always include the same definitions, types or categories of disability. Thelength of time a person is deemed „disabled‟ affects the way the statistical data is measuredand interpreted.iii According to the Census 2001, there is 28% in Movement, 49% Seeing6% Hearing, 7%, Speech and 10% Mental Disability in India who constitute 2.13 per centof the total population. Seventy five per cent of persons with disabilities live in rural areas,49 per cent of disabled population is literate and only 34 per cent are employed.ivDisability Sport Disability sport is a term that refers to sport designed for, or specifically practiced,by people with disabilities. People with disabilities are also referred to as athletes withdisabilities. Deaf sport is distinguished from other groups of people with disabilities and insome countries deaf people prefer not to label deafness as a disability. The rules of deafsport are not altered, only instead of whistles and start guns, athletes and officialscommunicate through signs, flags and lights. In many developing countries deafness is stillconsidered a disability.v Sports for person with disabilities are necessarily sports organised specifically forpersons with disabilities, and hinge on the basis of providing equitable and fair categories,based on ability and disability, in order to provide level playing fields. Similar to womenparticipating or competing with other women in women‟s sport, people with disabilities,participate or compete with other people with similar abilities and disabilities. Since the1970s, the concept of organised multi-sport and multi-disability games became popular anda number of regional games for people with a disability also emerged. These include gamesNeeraj Kumar Mehra Page 4
Sports for Disabled People in Indiasuch as the Parapan American Games and the Far East and South Pacific Games. Whilstthere is limited historical and statistical evidence of the participation of people with adisability in developing countries, in the three largest international competitions –Deaflympics, Paralympic Games and Special Olympics World Games - participation bydeveloping countries has seen the greatest improvement since 1990.viThe Role of Sport for People with Disabilities Sport can play a key role in the lives and communities of people with disabilities,the same as it can for people without a disability. There is a wealth of evidence to supportparticipation in sport and physical activity for people with a disability concerning trends,barriers and benefits of participation. Over the past three decades, numerous studies haverevealed that sport participation result in improved functional status and quality oflife among people with selected disabilities. Scientific research has been conducted acrossdisability groups that reveal participation in sport leads to improved levels of physicalhealth and well-being. It has also been shown to improve physical fitness and generalmood in psychiatric patients with depressive and anxiety disorders. Additionally, it hasbeen linked to improvements in self-confidence, social awareness and self-esteem and cancontribute to empowerment of people with disabilities.viiSport can have a positive impacton the lives of people with disabilities but many face challenges to getting involved insport. There is also explained in Article 30, Convention on the Rights of Persons withDisabilities about participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport “With a view toenabling persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others inrecreational, leisure and sporting activities, States Parties shall take appropriate measures.It is further mentioned that to encourage and promote the participation, and to createopportunity, to organize and develop participate in disability-specific sporting andrecreational activities, It is needed to have appropriate instruction, training and resourceswith equal access to tourism venues and sporting activities as compared to other childrenfor participation in play, recreation and leisure.”viii In article 30 of International Disability Alliance Guidance Document May, 2010regarding Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport clearly states aboutNeeraj Kumar Mehra Page 5
Sports for Disabled People in IndiaAccess to culture, recreation, leisure and sport are also important areas to be taken intoaccount for the full participation in society of persons with disabilities and create followingquestions: Does public funding provided to cultural, leisure/touristic and sporting facilities and organizations require compliance with accessibility standards? Do general accessibility plans include the elimination of barriers in culture, recreation, leisure and sport? Is the State providing support to disability-specific initiatives in the area of sports and culture? Is the State promoting and supporting deaf culture?ix In India, state policy (particularly in the form of the Persons with Disabilities Act,1995,and the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities, 2006) is supportive of the needfor individuals with disabilities to participate in sport, recreational and leisure activities,and includes provisions designed to both encourage development of special recreationcenters and ensure accessibility to all public places. According to Article 16. Right ofChildren with Disabilities to Leisure, Culture and Sports that all children with disabilitieshave a right to play and participate in sports, recreation and cultural activities on an equalbasis with other children; And appropriate governments and establishments shall providefor disability and age appropriate opportunities for children with disabilities to participatein sports and have access to playgrounds along with other children ensuring that childrenwith disabilities have access to cultural materials in an accessible format and access tocultural activities, performance and services along with other children. Right to Supportand Accessibility, Article 43.further mentioned that every child has a right to access allschool buildings, sports recreation and library facilities on an equal basis with others and itshall be the duty of appropriate governments and establishments to render theaforementioned facilities accessible to children with disabilities.x Right to Participation inSports, Games and Athletics, Article 74, explains that Central Government shall establisha National Body for Disability Sports to promote the sports of persons with disabilitiesNeeraj Kumar Mehra Page 6
Sports for Disabled People in Indiawhich enforce all National and State Sports bodies to accord due recognition to the right ofall persons with disabilities to participate in sports and shall make due provision for theinclusion of persons with disabilities in all their schemes and programs for the promotionand development of sporting talent. Adequate funding should begiven to enhance potential, talent, capacity and ability of the disabled anddevelopment of state of art sport facilities for training, different coursesnew programmes, redesigning Infrastructure facilities and technology should be developwith multi‐sensory essentials and features in all sporting activities forinclusion and participation of persons with disabilities Participants ininternational and national sporting events for persons with disabilitiesshall be allocated resources, sponsorships, awards and jobs. According to the statement of the committee appointed by the Ministry of SocialJustice and Empowerment, to draft the new legislation presented the final draft of theRights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2011 to the minister. "The Persons withDisabilities Act, 1995 was proposed to be replaced by a new legislation in the light of theexperience gained in the implementation of the Act, developments that have taken place inthe disability sector over the years, and also the commitments under the UN Convention onthe Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)," the statement said. Estimating thenumber of people with disabilities worldwide at 1 billion, or 15 percent of the world‟spopulation, the report from the WHO and World Bank confirms that disability is a majorissue on a global scale. The causes of disability are evolving, mainly due to longer lifeexpectancy, a higher prevalence of chronic illnesses, and also an increase in armedviolence and natural disasters.Organizations promoting Sports for Disable in India 1. National Paralympics Committee of India The Paralympic movement is more than just facts and figures .Over 3000 years agosport was used as instrument to attain physical, mental and spiritualachievement.Today,Paralympic movement has high goals that encompasses theNeeraj Kumar Mehra Page 7
Sports for Disabled People in Indiadevelopment of sports at all levels for people with a disability ,the full involvement ofwomen and girls with a disability and of athletes with a severe disability, the promotion ofclean sport and the education of athletes about doping, and educational programmes at alllevels to change perceptions about the abilities of people with a disabilities. Paralympics Committee of India is a registered association which has changes its namefrom Physically Handicapped Sports Federation of India to Paralympics Committee ofIndia in 2003. It is registered with Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Act, 1976 ,section80 G of the Income Tax Act and also under section 10 (23C) (iv) of the IT Act to getIncome tax rebate for the donations made to PCI .xi A. PCI and FESPIC Games FESPIC Games were conducted by FESPIC Games Federation and considered as AsianGames for Para Sports where all the Asian Countries and the countries of South Pacificregion were allowed to participate till 2006, International Paralympic Committee which isan apex body for Paralympic sports decided in 2000 that all the IPC affiliated membersbecame automatic members of Fespic Games Federations and only such members weremade authority to send teams to the future games. PCI had a good team of 63 athletes indifferent sport and got 3 Gold, 9 Silver and 10 Bronze Medals in Athletics at the 8th FespicGames which were held in Busan, Korea in 2002 .These games which were the first everbig medal haul in a recognized international event for India. 9th FESPIC Games were heldat Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in November 2006 where a special meeting of FespicFederation and Asian Paralympic Committee was held and Asian Paralympic Committeetook the responsibility of hosting Asian Games for Para sports and the Fespic GamesFederation was formally dissolved. B. Other Achievements and Performance Handicapped sports are also included in prestigious ARJUNA AWARDS since 1995. There are championships as Disabled cricket, blind cricket which are conducted every year.Neeraj Kumar Mehra Page 8
Sports for Disabled People in India There were more than 150 players from 14 countries participated in APC Badminton Cup which was held in December 2008 In IWAS World Games more than 680 athletes from 43 countries took part and India stood 2nd in Medal Tally with a total of 110 medals which was hosted in the year 2009 at Bangalore. Gold Medal with the World Record at the 2004 Athens Paralympics Games. .xii 2. Special Olympics Bharat Special Olympics Bharat is a National sports Federation, recognized by the Ministry ofSports and Youth Affairs, Government of India. The federation trains both male andfemale athletes in 25 summer and winter disciplines. The federation has 850000 athletesregistered through 35 state chapters. The team representing India at 2011 Special OlympicsWorld Summer Games brought back 243 (78 Gold, 73 Silver and 92 Bronze) medals forthe country. The Roller Skating team got 31Gold, 12 Silver and 15 Bronze. whereas inAthletics (6 Gold, 10 Silver, 14 Bronze), Badminton (2 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze),Basketball (Boys – 10 Silver, Girls 10 Bronze), Bocce (4 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze),Cycling (7 Gold, 6 Silver, 11Bronze), Football (5th Place), Handball (Boys – 12 Gold,Girls – 12 Silver), Power Lifting(3 Gold, 5 Silver, 6 Bronze), Table Tennis (4 Gold, 3Silver, 2 Bronze), and Volleyball (Bronze for Boys and Girls). a. Other Special Events Special Olympics Bharat was given responsibility for the conduct of these inclusive sports programs in, two major inclusive schemes, one for the Disabled and other PYKKA which were activated in 2010. Specialist Trainers from the UK conducted two Trains the Trainer courses specifically for inclusive games for disabled through International Inspiration Program of the British Council. They trained 60 Master Tutors in two courses held in Goa and New Delhi. These Master Tutors conducted the training of the first 60Neeraj Kumar Mehra Page 9
Sports for Disabled People in India Master Tutors who trained the first 600 top Trainees in the LNUPE University to conduct inclusive sports for all children with all disabilities. b. Special Awards / Recognition Mr. Satish Pillai was honoured for his contribution to the promotion of sports in the country with the Dhyan Chand Life time award by the President of India .He is President of Jharkhand State Chapter in Special Olympics Bharat and a staunch supporter of the SOB Program. He received the award from the President at a National Sports Day ceremony held at Rashtrapathi Bhavan on 26 August 2010. The De Rozio Award for excellence in Human Enrichment and Education, in the Special Educators Category was awarded to Ms.Lina Bardhan, Area Director SO Bharat – West Bengal who has served the Special Olympics Program for more then 20 years Rehabilitation Council of India has recognised training done by Special Olympic Bharat which is an organisation recognised by Government of India for approval of education method for the special educators. All the educators undergoing training will be accredited with 30 CRE points to fulfil the requirement of 100 points over period of 2 years for renewal of their education certificate for the training conducted by Special Olympic Bharat at LakshmiBai National University of Physical Education, Sports Authority of India and Community Coaches camps, National Trust felicitates 20 Special Olympians from different states who represented India at the 2007 Special Olympics Summer Games were awarded with a plaque, shawl and rs.25000/‐ at the functions held in their respective states. Special Athletes participated in the Queen‟s Baton Torch run in several States during the Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010.Neeraj Kumar Mehra Page 10
Sports for Disabled People in India 3. INDIAN BLIND SPORTS ASSOCIATION The Association has always played a prominent role in promoting sports among thevisually handicapped. It was the initiative of BRA that Indian Blind Sports Associationwas formed in 1986 as the national level body for the promotion of athletics and differentsports for the blind. Indian Blind Sports Association is recognized by the Indian OlympicAssociation and is affiliated with the International Blind Sports Federation, the apex worldblind sports organization, and with Paralympic Committee of India. BRA also hosts jointlywith Indian Blind Sports Association, national-level Sports Meets for the Blind once everytwo years. The Sports Meet is the largest sports event for the visually impaired in thecountry which attracts hundreds of sports persons from institutions across the country fromdifferent states who compete in athletics, chess and swimming.xiiiConclusionsHowever, the situation on the ground remains mixed. Persons with physical disabilities areunable to enjoy leisure activities on an equal basis with others as long as transportationsystems and public buildings continue to lack barrier-free access, a problem which has notbeen addressed on a consistent basis by the Government. However, organizations andestablishments like the Wheelchair Sports Federation of India, the Indian Blind SportsAssociation, and the Special Olympics Bharat do provide opportunities for physically andmentally differently-abled athletes to participate in sporting activities. Unfortunately, thereremains no institution available to coach elite differently-abled athletes in India, leaving agap in attainment of the goals outlined in State policy. In order for persons with disabilitiesto be able to participate in leisure activities at the level described in government policies,stricter enforcement of these laws is needed. Under the Constitution of India, there arecertain fundamental rights that can be enforced in courts of law. These fundamental rightsinclude the right to equality (Article 14) and the right to live in dignity (Article 21).Disabled citizens have the same rights as other citizens and should be given theopportunities to participate effectively in society.Neeraj Kumar Mehra Page 11
Sports for Disabled People in IndiaProposals Increase support and funding to conduct empirical studies on topics of disability sport and adapted physical activity including, participation levels, attitudes, legislation, barriers and benefits of sport and physical activity. Develop further studies of mental health and psychological well-being as an outcome of sport participation for people with a disability. Affordable technologies, and increasing accessibility and universal designs in both the environment and the structures/rules of sports. Produce inclusive coaching manuals and educational material in multiple languages and formats to make it accessible to developing countries Research and develop monitoring and evaluation tools to ensure quality sport programmes are being implemented effectively and meeting target outcomes. Create opportunities to share knowledge, experiences and best practice. Utilise new technologies and online communication to enhance collaboration between development organisations, researchers and programme staff.Neeraj Kumar Mehra Page 12
Sports for Disabled People in IndiaReferencesi http://www.sportanddev.org/learnmore/sport_and_disability2/background___sport___disability/definitions_and_terminology/ii http://nsingit.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/differently-abled-and-their-social-integration/iii http://www.sportanddev.org/learnmore/sport_and_disability2/background___sport___disability/definitions_and_terminology/iv http://www.disabilityindia.org/nationalpolicyfordisable.cfmv http://www.sportanddev.org/learnmore/sport_and_disability2/background___sport___disability/definitions_and_terminology/vi http://assets.sportanddev.org/downloads/090611_sport_and_disability_profile_for_print.pdfvii http://www.sportanddev.org/learnmore/sport_and_disability2/sport_and_adapted_physical_activity__apa_/the_role_of_sport_and_adapted_physical_activity_for_people_with_disabilities_/viii http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/disabilities-convention.htmix http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/x http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/disabilities-convention.htmxi http://www.paralympicindia.org.in/downloads/pci-brief-writeup.pdfxii http://www.paralympicindia.org/images/ASIAD%20FOR%20PARA%20SPORTS.pdfxii http://www.blindreliefdelhi.org/OthersCPWD. (1998). Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Bulit Environment forDisabled and Elderly Persons. Central Public Works Department. India: Ministry of UrbanAffairs and Employment.Department of Sports, M. o. (2011). Applications invited from Schools/SpecialSchools/Institutions run by Govt./NGOs/Trusts etc having disabled students on their rollsfor grant for engagement of coaches on contract basis and purchase of consumable andnon-consumable sports equipment under. Delhi: Government of India.LAUFF, J. (2007). DEVELOPING COUNTRY PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONALDISABILITY SPORT COMPETITION:A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE. The CatholicUniversity of Leuven, The University of Limerick, The Palacky University and theNeeraj Kumar Mehra Page 13
Sports for Disabled People in IndiaNorwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norwegian School of Sport Science, Oslo. Oslo:ERASMUS MUNDUS.Muhammad Badar, M. A. (June 2011). Assessing the Role and Importance of Co-curricular Activities in Special People (Deaf) Learning at Elementary Level. InternationalJournal of Business and Social Science , Vol. 2 ( 11).Sports, M. o. (2009-10). SCHEME OF SPORTS AND GAMES FOR THE DISABLED.India: Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.Sruti Mohapatra, M. M. Abuse and Activity Limitation : A Study on Domestic ViolenceAgainst Disabled Women in Orissa, India. Oxfam (India) Trust.Websiteshttp://ayjnihh.nic.in/http://www.artlimbs.comhttp://www.censusindia.net/results/disabled_main.htmlhttp://www.socialjustice.nic.inhttp://www.nhfdc.orghttp://www.nimhindia.orghttp://www.nationaltrust.org.inhttp://www.ccdisabilities.nic.inwww.rehabcouncil.nic.inhttp://nsingit.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/differently-abled-and-their-social-integration/https://nsingit.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/no-of-people-with-disabilities-worldwide-at-1-billion-or-15-per-cent-of-the-worlds-population/http://uncrpd.nileshsingit.org/international-documents-on-disahttp://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/disabilities-convention.htmNeeraj Kumar Mehra Page 14