Jammu TawiApril 07: LLt. Governor Manoj Sinha attended the Divyangjan National Health Festival on Thursday, organized by Special Olympics Bharat J&K, to honor specially disabled athletes at the University of Jammu.
The program is organized on the occasion of World Health Day in connection with “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” in 75 cities of India marking 75 years of independence, by Special Olympics Bharat, an accredited sports organization with of the International Sports Federation.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lieutenant Governor praised the dedication and spirit of the special athletes. He observed that a good start has been made in UT with a new sports policy, which focuses on sports facilities and the welfare of people with special disabilities.
Calling them true role models for the younger generation, the Lieutenant Governor said the specially disabled athletes have raised hopes through their outstanding performances at international events.
“I urge sports federations and all other J&K sports bodies to develop a sports development strategic plan for Divyangjan,” he added.
All schools and panchayats have been mandated to create sports infrastructure to popularize a strong sports culture among the masses, especially among children and youths, the lieutenant governor said.
The Lieutenant Governor observed that under the leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, the Divyangjans were granted the right to lead a dignified and virtuous life.
Prior to 2015, every law in our country sought to connect people with disabilities to social protection programs in some way. A new social consciousness emerged after 2015, in which the focus shifted to granting the Divyangjan their rights and not just the benefits of social protection measures. During the same period, the Accessible India campaign evolved into a mass movement creating accessible infrastructure for people with reduced mobility, in government and private buildings, railway stations, airports, schools and colleges, a noted the Lieutenant Governor.
Highlighting the unprecedented work being done with the needs and aspirations of all sections of society in mind, the Lieutenant Governor said J&K UT is moving in the direction of positive progress with the spirit of service. strong nurtured by national values and public consciousness.
The Jammu and Kashmir government is working on a mission mode to ensure 100% saturation of Divyangjan’s pensions and distribution of tricycles, he added.
The Lieutenant Governor commended Special Olympics Bharat, its President, Dr. Mallika Nadda, and all associated with it for providing much-needed platforms for people with special disabilities to showcase their talent.
The Lieutenant Governor also extended his best wishes to Special Athlete Paramjeet Singh, who hails from a border village and, despite many difficulties, managed to earn selection for the Special World Winter Games of the next year to be held in Kazan, Russia.
It is the responsibility of the administration of Jammu and Kashmir to develop a thriving sports culture among the specially disabled people, identify their talent and provide the world stage for special athletes, the Lieutenant Governor said.
Our goal is to develop sports infrastructure, provide world-class coaching and nurture sporting talent with a focus on athletes with special disabilities; creating an inclusive and equitable sports ecosystem without any discrimination, added the lieutenant-governor.
The Lieutenant Governor assured all possible support from the UT government to organizations working for the welfare of athletes with special abilities.
Over the past year, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir has ensured that each panchayat is provided with a playground and sports equipment. Under a special program, efforts are being made to connect 7.5 lakh youngsters with different sports disciplines. This year, 221 playgrounds will be constructed in the 20 districts, in addition to the construction/renovation of 157 sports courts will be completed, the Lieutenant Governor informed.
Dr. Ashwani Jojra, President of Special Olympics Bharat, J&K UT spoke on this occasion about the various year-long initiatives and programs organized for athletes with intellectual disabilities and special needs.
Avey Pargal, National Joint General Secretary, SAKSHAM; Dr RK Suri, President, Institute of Dental Sciences, Sehora, Jammu; Ritu Singh, President of the Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh branch of the FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO); Sohail Kazmi, Member of Waqf Board, J&K and Associate at SAHYOG India, Jammu.
Anshul Garg, Deputy Commissioner Jammu; Dr. Shashi Sudhan Sharma, Director and Dean, GMC; besides various dignitaries, Divyanjan, their parents, guardians and health officials were present on the occasion.