Cricket, a powerful motivator for the visually impaired!

‘IndusInd Bank Blind Cricket National Conclave-2022’

Press Release, Feb 28, 2022, 7:43 PM IST

Bengaluru: The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) in association with the Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, inaugurated the 3rd IndusInd Bank Blind Cricket National Conclave -2022 on February 28th at The Chancery Pavilion, Grand Ball Room Hall, Shantala Nagar.

The Conclave drew Cricket enthusiasts, Staff of the Non-Profit Trust, Heads of Corporates, Government Dignitaries and members of the blind cricket team.

The ‘IndusInd Bank Blind Cricket National Conclave-2022’ was graced by the presence of the Hon’ble Governor of Karnataka  Thaawar Chand Gehlot as the Chief Guest. The Guests of Honor were Ms. Anna Shotbolt, Deputy Trade Commissioner South Asia for Investment &Deputy High Commissioner, Ms. Anne Seshadri, Counsul for Public Affairs, U.S. Consulate, Shri Syed Kirmani, Former Indian Cricketer, Ms. Matilda Lobo, Head- CSR, IndusInd Bank, Shri Anil Parmar, Vice President, Community Investment, United Way Mumbai   and Dr Mahantesh G. Kivadasannavar, Founder Managing Trustee, Samarthanam Trust and President Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI).

The objective of this Conclave is to recall the achievements of Cricket for the Blind, the success stories and the future of blind cricket with ways to widen its reach.  Cricket Association for the Blind in India affiliated to World Blind Cricket Ltd has 30 States affiliated to it and 25,000 Cricketers listed. It organizes cricket tours and tournaments, trains blind Cricketers and encourages budding players and works on blind Cricket awareness.

Speaking on this occasion, the Chief Guest the Hon’ble Governor of Karnataka  Thaawar Chand Gehlot said  that Samarthanam  during the last 25 years of its meaningful existence, has done remarkable work   for the specially abled in building an inclusive society, free from discrimination He said “Samarthanam’s initiatives  are all unique, especially the Blind Cricket Team, which won the   ODI Blind World cup in 2014 and now  he is excited to hear that 224 visually impaired Women cricketers from 14 Indian States   will be playing 21 matches in 3 grounds in Bangalore from March 1st 2022. He wished great luck to the Blind Cricketers who were travelling to Dubai for the Triangular T 20 Cricket Tournament played against Pakistan and Bangladesh from   March 13th to 19. 2022. The Honble Governor said   he was very confident in getting the support of the State and the Central Government to support the initiatives of Samarthanam. He also said he was impressed that Samarthanam with the Government and Corporates support has helped India fight the pandemic through its Covid Relief Campaigns. He congratulated immensely the vision of Dr Mahantesh G.K and the efforts put in by his Team.

As a pioneer in adaptive sports, the United States applauds efforts to empower the differently abled through sports.  I am inspired by the work of government agencies, non-profits like Samartham, and other institutions for developing opportunities for the differently abled in India.” Said Anne Lee Seshadri, Consul for Public Affairs in the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai.

Matilda Lobo, Head CSR spoke that Indusind Bank is committed and invested in supporting inclusive sports in India through CSR intervention. In partnership with Samarthanam, Indusind has been supporting 400 Indian Men Blind Cricket Players from 2015-16 and from FY 21-22 have extended support to 300 Women Blind Cricket Players furthering the diversity and inclusion agenda in sports and looking forward to the women representing India in the International Cricket tournaments and bring laurels to the Country

Former Indian Cricketer Syed Kirmani, said” It is an honor to be associated with Samarthanam Trust which is encouraging Blind Cricket and the Visually Impaired Men and Women to take Cricket as a profession”

Ms. Anna Shotbolt, Deputy Trade Commissioner South Asia for Investment &Deputy High Commissioner, said “I am very happy to witness the inspiring Sports men and Women contribute and work together”

Anil Parmar, Vice President, Community Investment, United Way Mumbai said he was very thankful that Cricket for the Blind has been encouraged and added that Dr Mahantesh is a great inspiration to everyone.

Dr Mahantesh G.Kivadasannavar, President Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI). Said “This Blind Cricket Conclave is a milestone in the journey of blind cricket.  The Conclave has generated fresh ideas, insights and solutions to the challenges of Blind Cricketers -India in particular and global in general”

The full day event presented a picture on how the visually impaired Cricket players have undergone a complete transformation by adopting blind cricket as a career.

Panel Discussions revolved around the mainstream and Blind Cricketers, the mental aspects of the game, the role of Samarthanam in the growth of the Blind Cricket and Cricketers, impact of corporate support on sports, effective collaborations, corporate involvement in disability sports and the way out in raising money and sponsorships.

Experts and eminent Speakers in the Panel Discussions shared their wisdom and deliberated on the action points to make Cricket for the Blind bigger and effective.  Eminent cricketers and visually impaired cricket players shared their cricket experiences and playing techniques as well.

The inauguration of IndusInd Bank Women’s National T20 Cricket Tournament for the Blind-2022 was kicked off at 4 pm on the same day at the same venue. The Guests of Honor were  Ms K.S Latha Kumari IAS, Director, Department of Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens, Government of Karnataka, Ms. Matilda Lobo, Head- CSR, IndusInd Bank,  Ms. K. Pallove Raj, CSR, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Shri Anil Parmar, Vice President, Community Investment, United Way Mumbai Shri Sudhakar Rao, Former Indian Cricketer &Former Secretary KSCA, Shri Anil Parmar, Vice President, Community Investment, United Way Mumbai, Mr. Yoganand Kote, Nike, Mr Sanchith Sanjeev, Kannada Film Actor, Dr Subhash Mahajan,  U.S.A, Dr Mahantesh G.K, Founder Managing Trustee, Samarthanam Trust.

Samarthanam celebrating its Silver Jubilee Year in the month of February has organized many events high lighting its 25 years of service to the People with Disabilities and the National T20 Cricket Tournament for the Blind Women is one amongst them.  From March 01st to March 5, at Bangalore, the IndusInd Bank Women’s National T20 National Tournament for the Blind will be played in 3 grounds, involving 14 states, and 224 Blind Women Cricketers. Women’s Blind Cricket is in its nascent stage, with the most marginalized players whose needs are hardly addressed has States in India like Jharkhand, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Karnataka, playing cricket for the last three to five years.  Ever since Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled took the responsibility of managing blind cricket in 2010, CABI – with much effort and time invested, has made Women’s cricket for the blind a happening Sport.

About Cricket for the Blind

There are thousands of blind cricketers in India waiting for an opportunity to explore their passion for cricket and prove their abilities to contest at the International levels like any of their cricketing peers in the country. Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled through its sports body CABI endeavors to provide them with this unique opportunity. Besides, sports as is well known opens up employment vistas for persons with visual impairments, physically challenged and economically weaker.

 About Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled 

Registered as a Trust in 1997, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled has been working towards creating education and livelihood opportunities for persons with disabilities and from underserved communities. The larger vision of our organization is to work towards an inclusive society which provides equal opportunities for all.

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