Pune: Happiness and excitement was palpable at the photography, computer programming, art and craft, embroidery at National Abilympic Association of India that took place at Queen’s Mary Technical Institute for Differently Abled Soldiers, Pune here on Friday. Sarthak Foundation hosted the two-day West Zone Regional Abilympics (Olympics of abilities) vocational skills competition for Divyayangs.
The two-day event supported by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (World Skills India), All India Council of Technical Education and The Hans Foundation. The first day has a conference, a panel discussion about the Corporate Social Responsibility and its benefit for disabled people. It also has competitions like Art and Craft, Embroidery, Waste-Re-Use, Painting, Photography, Drawing and Computer programmes like web designing, programmings and poster making for disabled people. Day two has job fair in which corporations like Ginger, Reliance, Conrad will hire people with disabilities (PwD).
Sarthak Educational Trust was started by Dr Jitendra Aggrawal in 2008 to empower the disabled people by giving them jobs and various opportunities. He said, “Till now, Sarthak has given jobs to 12,000+ disabled people in big corporations. It serves in 17 places across India, and now, it has become a big name in India. Participants from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh will take part in various vocational contests. Even engineers from IITs will also participate.”
Mayor Mukta Tilak also came and wished the participants on behalf of the Puneites. She said, “Skill development is the perfect step for PwD to enter the mainstream society. She also added that they are planning to build a hostel for disabled people so that they can impart them vocational training and conduct educational activities.”
Vinita Patel, Secretary (National Abilympics Association of India) NAAI spoke to Sakal Times and said, “I’m giving training to disabled people from past 35 years and I feel happy about it. I want all of them to compete for international level now.”
Speaking to Sakal Times, Rakesh (who is dumb) expressed, “I’m loving this competition as I am a professional photographer and I click nature photographs. I want more competitions like this to happen in Pune for people like me.” On the other side participants like Dhananjay Shelar, who have been to France because of his photography skills says, “I’m pretty sure that this time also I will make it to international level.”
People from designing background were also very enthusiastic about the competition, Chandrakant Vagasiya came all the way from Surat to Pune just to participate in the competition. He has experience of eight years in designing and owns a designing business in Surat.