A year ago, I met Rajiv Rajan, an interesting and ambitious person with cerebral palsy, through Cerebral Palsy Today (CPT) – a non-profit group that a few friends and I run out of interest.
Rajiv is the executive director of Ektha, a disability rights organisation based in Chennai.
We have met a few times after that, while he helped us in creating awareness and various other projects that we did through CPT.
But not a single time has he missed the chance to amaze me with his ambitious ideas for people with disability.
He struggles to speak, but his words always stem from a sharp intellect and clear mind – a quality that I envy about him.
A few months ago, I ran into him at one of the non-profit foundation events. He told me that he wants to prepare a team of players for boccia and eventually hold a State-level tournament.
I had no idea about what the game was all about nor was I too keen to know about it then. Half-heartedly, I shook his hand and said that it was a great idea, thinking that it must be just another one of his ambitious ideas.
I was wrong. I realized it was more than just an idea, when he sent me a message on WhatsApp saying that he is “READY”.
He was ready with a team of 6 players who has been practicing continuously for the past 5 months with the help of a coach. I was surprised and happy at the same time when I saw a few of them play the game and how things were progressing.
Soon after that, to gather some support for them, we invited the players (and the coach) to our office for a small demonstration of the game to learn more about the sport is all about and see how we can help.
At the end of the session, a few of the employees of our company immediately volunteered to support the players through any means possible.
My smile broadened and my heart filled with happiness when I realized what this could mean for Rajiv and his team.
He is taking a few steps at a time to reach the ultimate goal of sending players to the 2020 Paralympics.