Amritsar,Punjab: City kids, students of the Government School for the Visually Impaired, Vazhuthacaud, had a field day at a national sports, cultural, and academic meet at Amritsar, organised by the Welfare Association for Visually Challenged Employees, Punjab. The 15-strong group of students of the school walked away with seven gold, seven silver and four bronze medals at the meet that was on from December 7 to 9.
The meet is an annual event held on the campus of Guru Nanak Dev University, and is organised to celebrate the latent skills of the differently-abled. Competitions are conducted in various fields, such as sports, academic, culture and music. Visually-challenged students from across India participated in this year’s event. Incidentally, the Government School for the Visually Impaired was the only school from South India to participate in the fete this year.
It was in sports that the kids from the city shone. Competitions in sport were organised for people with three levels of impairment – partial visual impairment, severe visual impairment, and total impairment.
Shaji and Sunita summoned their inner Usain Bolts and won the dash to gold in the 100 metre sprint. Both of them also won golds in the high jump event. Veena, another student, also won gold in the 100 metre sprint, while Vinod aced the shot put competition. Anjana, Akshay, Ebby, and Siyad obtained silver medals in their respective sports activities, while Pricihit and Arsha got the bronze. On the cultural side, Akshara S. won the first prize for her passionate extempore speech based on the theme of corruption. Arya, who, impressively, learnt Urdu by herself to participate in the Hindustani ghazal competition, walked way with a special mention for her efforts.
Vishnu, a junior, who participated in the senior chess event says: “Participating in such a challenging environment was so empowering.”
Adds Tulaseedharan, Headmaster of the school, which has 44 visually challenged children on its rolls: “This is the first time that the school was able to send students for such a national-level competition, thanks to private sponsorship. Such competitions for the visually challenged are few and far between. Our students may be visually-challenged but most of them are quite athletic and it’s no surprise that they’re coming back with gold medals. Most of them are physically fit thanks to training in Karate, which is part of their P.T. routine – we have been conducting Karate classes for the past three years and even have students who qualified for a green belt. We hope to send them for more competitions in the future.”
While in Amritsar, the students – and the seven staff members and two parent representatives who accompanied them – also got an opportunity to visit the Golden Temple, the Jallianwalah Bagh memorial, and the Wagah border. The students returned home by train on Wednesday.