Lucknow hosted the championship from March 18-21,2021, giving a platform to visually impaired women to showcase their skill.
As many as eleven women para-athletes from Madhya Pradesh bagged several awards at the 9th National Deaf and Blind Para Judo Championship held in Lucknow between March 18 to March 21, 2021. Supported by the Sightsavers, popularly known as the Royal Commonwealth Society for the blind, these young women from Hoshangabad and Jabalpur tasted victory, making a strong statement of their skill.
Victory for the physically challenged women
A 60-member team of young girls and women participated at the National Deaf and Blind Para Judo Championship hosted in Lucknow and won one gold, three silver and six bronze medals, bringing glory to the domicile state, Madhya Pradesh. The runners-up trophy was also lifted by the team from MP.
While the handicapped and specially-abled have to deal with a lot of challenges in their day to day life, it has been noted that physically challenged women are more vulnerable to sexual violence. Several organisations are working day in and day out to offer assistance to such women. Training them in judo as self-defence is a boost to their confidence level and this is where leagues like these enter the frame. It not only opens a new avenue to nurture the talent of the differently-abled but also is a splendid means to empower them.
Empowering the visually challenged women
One such organisation that has invested several efforts in this domain is Sightsavers India. Operating since 1966, this not-for-profit organisations is working to eliminate avoidable blindness while ensuring that the irreversibly blind are supported adequately to lead lives of independence and dignity. Their primary focus is to empower visually challenged people, with the aim of changing the scenario by teaching them judo (martial arts). As of now, they have a presence in about 100 districts across 8 states, including Madhya Pradesh.
They work in a sustainable way to promote lasting change by strengthening existing health systems, seeking to advocate with and influence governments and by demonstrating best practices. The 60 women who participated in the Lucknow tournament were also trained in self-defence through classes facilitated by Sightsavers in MP.
While some of their beneficiaries become judo trainers, others route to take part in national level championships, bringing honour and glory to the state and dignity to self. It also helps to become an active part of hthe society despite their shortcomings. R.N. Mohanty, CEO at Sightsavers India said in a release, "This is an amazing and extremely proud moment for us at Sightsavers. These children are setting examples and showing everyone that a visually impaired can do anything."