New Training Programme Launched for Visually Impaired Women Cricketers in Delhi

In a significant move to empower visually impaired women and girls, a new training programme was launched in Delhi on Tuesday. The initiative, set to train 50 participants over the next three months, focuses on enhancing cricket skills alongside providing vocational training. The programme aims to develop digital and financial literacy, including soft skills, computer skills, and life skills, for its participants.

Launch Event with Distinguished Guests

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The launch event, held at the Constitution Club of India, saw the presence of notable figures including Philip Green OAM, Australia‘s High Commissioner to India, Meenakshi Lekhi, Former Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, and Yogesh Taneja, President of the Cricket Association for the Blind in Delhi (CABD).

A collaboration between the Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), and CABD, the programme underscores the importance of inclusivity in sports. Philip Green emphasized Australia’s commitment to supporting gender equality and the rights of people with disabilities, highlighting the significance of the initiative.

Empowering Stories from the Participants

The programme’s participants shared their inspiring journeys and the impact of cricket on their lives. Shemoo Das, a 22-year-old visually impaired cricketer from Assam, recounted her early struggles and innovative methods to practice cricket. “I used to fill water bottles with marbles so that I could hear the sound and understand where the ball was coming from,” she shared. Das credited her mother for unwavering support, despite family challenges, and celebrated her growth from a debutant to an international player.

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Similarly, Esther, an 18-year-old player from Andhra Pradesh, spoke about her family’s support and her brother’s encouragement to pursue cricket. “My brother inspired me to play cricket and asked me to start practising in seventh grade. I have played with Nepal twice and reached the semi-finals,” she said, highlighting her journey and aspirations.

Coaching and Overcoming Challenges

Coaches Shikha Shetty and others discussed the unique challenges and rewards of training visually impaired athletes. Shetty, who has been training blind kids since 2019, emphasized the difficulty in convincing families to allow their daughters to participate. “The most difficult part is persuading families from lower backgrounds to allow their girls to come to the field,” she noted.

Shetty highlighted the importance of patience and tailored training approaches, stating, “Training them takes extra time due to their challenges, but with practice, they learn to overcome difficulties.” She stressed the need for motivation over sympathy, recognizing the heightened senses and resilience developed by visually impaired athletes.

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Support from Dignitaries

The event also saw Meenakshi Lekhi reflecting on India’s recent triumph in the 2024 T20 World Cup and praising the participants for their resilience. She underscored the importance of resilience, reflection, and relationships (RRR) in fostering long-term success.

Philip Green echoed similar sentiments, stating, “The Australian Government believes in supporting all people to fulfil their potential and is committed to advancing gender equality and the rights of people with disabilities.” He highlighted the role of sports in creating safe and empowering spaces for women and girls.

The training programme not only aims to develop cricketing skills but also strives to provide vocational training, thereby equipping participants with valuable life skills. This initiative marks a significant step towards inclusivity and empowerment, setting a precedent for future programmes aimed at supporting visually impaired athletes.

By combining sports with vocational training, this programme is set to create lasting impacts on the lives of its participants, enabling them to achieve greater independence and success in their personal and professional lives.

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In a significant move to empower visually impaired women and girls, a new training programme was launched in Delhi on Tuesday. The initiative, set to train 50 participants over the next three months, focuses on enhancing cricket skills alongside providing vocational training. The programme aims to develop digital and financial literacy, including soft skills, computer skills, and life skills, for its participants.

Launch Event with Distinguished Guests

The launch event, held at the Constitution Club of India, saw the presence of notable figures including Philip Green OAM, Australia's High Commissioner to India, Meenakshi Lekhi, Former Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, and Yogesh Taneja, President of the Cricket Association for the Blind in Delhi (CABD).

A collaboration between the Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), and CABD, the programme underscores the importance of inclusivity in sports. Philip Green emphasized Australia's commitment to supporting gender equality and the rights of people with disabilities, highlighting the significance of the initiative.

Empowering Stories from the Participants

The programme's participants shared their inspiring journeys and the impact of cricket on their lives. Shemoo Das, a 22-year-old visually impaired cricketer from Assam, recounted her early struggles and innovative methods to practice cricket. "I used to fill water bottles with marbles so that I could hear the sound and understand where the ball was coming from," she shared. Das credited her mother for unwavering support, despite family challenges, and celebrated her growth from a debutant to an international player.

Similarly, Esther, an 18-year-old player from Andhra Pradesh, spoke about her family's support and her brother's encouragement to pursue cricket. "My brother inspired me to play cricket and asked me to start practising in seventh grade. I have played with Nepal twice and reached the semi-finals," she said, highlighting her journey and aspirations.

Coaching and Overcoming Challenges

Coaches Shikha Shetty and others discussed the unique challenges and rewards of training visually impaired athletes. Shetty, who has been training blind kids since 2019, emphasized the difficulty in convincing families to allow their daughters to participate. "The most difficult part is persuading families from lower backgrounds to allow their girls to come to the field," she noted.

Shetty highlighted the importance of patience and tailored training approaches, stating, "Training them takes extra time due to their challenges, but with practice, they learn to overcome difficulties." She stressed the need for motivation over sympathy, recognizing the heightened senses and resilience developed by visually impaired athletes.

Support from Dignitaries

The event also saw Meenakshi Lekhi reflecting on India's recent triumph in the 2024 T20 World Cup and praising the participants for their resilience. She underscored the importance of resilience, reflection, and relationships (RRR) in fostering long-term success.

Philip Green echoed similar sentiments, stating, "The Australian Government believes in supporting all people to fulfil their potential and is committed to advancing gender equality and the rights of people with disabilities." He highlighted the role of sports in creating safe and empowering spaces for women and girls.

The training programme not only aims to develop cricketing skills but also strives to provide vocational training, thereby equipping participants with valuable life skills. This initiative marks a significant step towards inclusivity and empowerment, setting a precedent for future programmes aimed at supporting visually impaired athletes.

By combining sports with vocational training, this programme is set to create lasting impacts on the lives of its participants, enabling them to achieve greater independence and success in their personal and professional lives.

Stay updated with all the cricketing action, follow Cricadium on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, and Instagram