JAMMU: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday attended the National Health Festival for Divyangjan, organized by Special Olympics Bharat J&K, to honour specially-abled sportspersons at the Jammu University.
The programme is being organized on World Health Day in connection with “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” in 75 cities of India marking the 75 years of independence, by Special Olympics Bharat, a sports organization accredited with International Federation of Sports.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor saluted the dedication and spirit of the special athletes. He observed that a good beginning has been made in the UT through a new Sports Policy, which focuses on sporting facilities and welfare of specially-abled.
Terming them as true role models for the younger generation, the Lt Governor said that specially-abled sportspersons have kindled hopes by their remarkable performance in International events.
“I urge sports federations and all other sports bodies in J&K to draw up a strategic sports development plan for the Divyangjan”, he added.
All schools and panchayats have been mandated to create sports infrastructure facilities to popularize a robust sports culture among the masses, especially among children and the youth, the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor observed that under the leadership of the Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi Ji, Divyangjan have been granted their due rights to live a dignified and virtuous life.
Before 2015, all the laws in our country were aimed at somehow connecting the specially-abled people with the programs of social welfare. A new social consciousness emerged after 2015 wherein focus shifted to bestowing Divyangjan their due rights and not just benefits under social welfare measures. During the same time, Accessible India Campaign turned into a mass movement creating accessible infrastructure for specially-abled, in government and private buildings, railway stations, airports, schools and colleges, noted the Lt Governor.
Highlighting the unprecedented work being done keeping in mind the needs and aspirations of all the sections of the society, the Lt Governor said the UT of J&K is moving forward in the direction of positive progress with the spirit of strong service nurtured by national values and public consciousness.
Jammu and Kashmir government is working on a mission mode to ensure 100% saturation of Divyangjan pensions and distribution of tricycles, he added.
The Lt Governor lauded Special Olympics Bharat, its Chairperson Dr. Mallika Nadda and everyone associated with it for providing much-needed platforms to the specially-abled to showcase their talent.
The Lt Governor also extended his best wishes to the Special Athlete Paramjeet Singh, who hails from a border village and despite facing many hardships managed to secure selection for the next year’s Special World Winter Games to be held in Kazan, Russia.
It is the responsibility of Jammu and Kashmir administration to develop a flourishing sports culture among the specially-abled, identify their talent, and provide the world stage to special athletes, the Lt Governor said.
Our endeavor is to develop sports infrastructure, provide world-class coaching, and incentivize sporting talent with special emphasis on specially-abled sportspersons; creating an inclusive and equitable sports ecosystem without any discrimination, the Lt Governor added.
The Lt Governor assured every possible support of the UT Government to those organizations which are working towards the welfare of the sportspersons with special abilities.
In the last one year, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has ensured that every panchayat is provided with a playfield and sports kits. Under a special program, efforts are being made to connect 7.5 lakh youth with different disciplines of sports. This year, 221 playfields will be constructed in all 20 districts, besides construction/upgradation of 157 sports courts will be completed, informed the Lt Governor.
Dr Ashwani Jojra, President Special Olympics Bharat, J&K UT while speaking on the occasion briefed about the various initiatives and yearlong programs being organized for athletes with intellectual disabilities, special needs.
Other speakers who spoke on the efforts and commitment of their respective organizations towards promotion of sports and providing other growth opportunities to people with special abilities were Avey Pargal, National Joint General Secretary, SAKSHAM; Dr R.K Suri, Chairman, Institute of Dental Sciences, Sehora, Jammu; Ritu Singh, Chairperson, FICCI Ladies Organization’s (FLO) Jammu-Kashmir & Ladakh Chapter; Sohail Kazmi, member of Waqf Board, J&K and associated with SAHYOG India, Jammu.
Anshul Garg, Deputy Commissioner Jammu; Dr Shashi Sudhan Sharma, Principal & Dean, GMC; besides various dignitaries, Divyanjan, their parents, caretakers and health officials were present on the occasion.