Many do not associate sporting activities with the differently abled, but one individual through his organisation is breaking such misconceptions and spreading awareness by providing opportunities to people with and without disabilities to experience the thrill of sports.
Last year, Divyanshu Ganatra – who has been visually-impaired for nearly 18 years now – cycled all the way from Manali to Khardung La with a sighted partner. And now he is all set to organise India’s first blind and sighted tandem cycling expedition, which will see participation from ten tandem pairs (with each having a visually-impaired cyclist) cycling from Manali to Khardung La – a distance of over 500 km.
“We use sports as a medium to shatter stereotypes, inculcate a sense of identity and open avenues for the differently abled. We see sports as a great way to unite people and learn about each other because when you are playing a sport together, you have to know each other and move towards that one common goal,” says Divyanshu, who is a clinical psychologist and corporate facilitator by profession and adventure sports enthusiast by passion.
His organisation, Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation (ABBF), organises various sessions through which it aspires to create a more inclusive environment for people with disability.
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“This is an annual event. I did it last year, but now I want more cyclists to join in. We will soon be starting their training,” he says.
The organisation currently has five adventure activities on their list that includes marathons, tandem cycling, scuba diving, paragliding, and trekking and mountaineering.