Article | Blog | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India


Return to Play: Inclusion Revolution

By : Return to Play: Inclusion Revolution

July 01, 2022

As per the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) definition, Intellectual Disability means reduced capacity to process new complex information and to imbibe new developmental skills. This results in impaired social functioning of the individual, in majority cases children, and leads to stunted growth and development of the child. Several factors apart from health conditions affect Intellectual Disability in a person. The micro-environment and the conditions in which the child is brought-up also contribute to developing this disability. 

Often people with disabilities are marginalized and isolated from societal activities. Sports is one of the fields that witness significant representation from those with disabilities. ‘Special Olympics Bharat’ is one such organization that provides training and a platform for people with Intellectual disabilities to pursue their passion for sports. Recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, the organization conducts Special Olympic Programs in India. Special Olympics Bharat believes in community building and promoting a healthy lifestyle for the athletes. They provide training in sports such as – badminton, cricket, athletics, tennis, etc., and have played a pivotal role in providing fair opportunities for those with disabilities. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced these athletes to return to isolation and was not able to participate in activities and competitions.

Return to Play: Inclusion Revolution is an initiative to encourage athletes to come out of isolation and ‘return to play’. Under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav of the Ministry of Culture, Special Olympics Bharat and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports are organizing this initiative that will focus on the following three components:

  1. National Health Fest for Divyangjan - WE CARE, under which medical screenings will be done for 75,000 athletes by 7,500 trained medical professionals across 75 cities on World Health Day (7th April)
  2. Fit 5 (based on three goals - exercise five days a week, eat five fruits and vegetables per day, and drink five bottles of water per day) in association with Fit India Mission will be demonstrated at various venues
  3. Monumental action by the Government will be taken with the launch of 750 sports centers across the country

This iconic event is set to motivate young athletes with Intellectual Disabilities to step out in the world of sports once again and fulfill their dreams. Return to Play: Inclusion Revolution resonates with the idea of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav by celebrating these brave athletes and forging a way forward towards a new India.