Cricket lovers across the country were ecstatic when the Indian National Blind Cricket team won its third consecutive World Cup Trophy. It was a moment of pride for India as the team dominated the tournament, beating Bangladesh with an impressive margin of 120 runs in the finals. However, before this feat, many Indians were unaware of the existence of a blind cricket team in India.
In a recent interview, Skipper Ajay Kumar Reddy pointed out the team’s lack of recognition and funding. He mentioned that they suffer from discrimination in terms of budget and opportunities. The Cricket Association for the Blind (CABI), which looks after national cricket, is independent of BCCI and is often in a cash crunch.
Fortunately, the government and private players have come forward to support the team. The sports minister, Anurag Thakur, recently felicitated the blind cricket world champions at an event in the National Capital. The event was attended by many dignitaries from the Department of Sports, MYAS, CABI, and the Sports Authority of India.
This support has helped the team significantly, as private players are now investing their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in promoting the group. IndusInd Bank, in partnership with the Samarthanam Trust’s Cricket Association for Blind in India (CABI), has been supporting over 700 blind cricketers for six years under their IndusInd Blind Cricket CSR program.
Recently, the bank held a felicitation event in New Delhi. Here, they awarded the Indian Blind Cricket Team a cash prize as a token of appreciation for their accomplishments. The Managing Director & CEO of IndusInd Bank, Mr. Sumant Kathpalia, and other senior bank officials attended the event.
IndusInd Bank recognizes the power of sports to promote inclusivity and transformation in society. By supporting the Indian Blind Cricket Team in collaboration with CABI, the bank contributes to the team’s success and empowers blind cricketers across the country.
This event marks a significant milestone in promoting the growth and development of blind cricket in India. Indian society has always taken care of its specially-abled persons. Unlike the west, where they view them as a liability, Indian culture tends to care for them. Our tradition is supportive of specially-abled people and helps those live decent lives.
Independent India has also ensured they are not left behind and supported them with various policies and programs. Such as the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, the Accessible India Campaign, the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation, scholarship schemes, and inclusive education initiatives. These efforts aim to provide equal opportunities and ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
While India has made significant progress in this area, much must be done to achieve full inclusion and equality for persons with disabilities in public spaces and sports. India has several specially-abled teams for different sports, such as Para Athletics, Wheelchair Basketball, Para Powerlifting, Para Swimming, and Wheelchair Tennis. These teams participate in various international events and have won several medals, making India proud internationally.
The Indian Para Athletics team has won medals in events like the Paralympic Games, World Para Athletics Championships, and Asian Para Games. These para teams need constant support and appreciation from the government and corporate organizations. Companies can approach them to become brand ambassadors, which will create support for the company and the sports. The efforts will ensure that other sports repeat the feat the cricket team achieves.