TODAY -

Significance of EKS - Day Observation

Prof M Akshayakumar Singh *

Medal winners of 2nd National Games for Disabilities being felicitated by Special Olympic Bharat, Manipur Chapter on January 27 2013
Medal winners of 2nd National Games for Disabilities being felicitated by Special Olympic Bharat, Manipur Chapter on January 27 2013 :: pix - TSE



Country wide Special Olympics celebrate EKS - Day as an annual feature in memory of Eunice Kennedy Shriver's envisage to look at the intellectual disabilities as a dignified human being, on the last Saturday of September with every year, calling global attention of individuals and families who have no prior involvement with Special Olympics are urged to come and participate special Olympics movement. Special Olympics Bharat, Manipur Chapter is celebrating EKS - Day on 27th September, 2014 Saturday at Yairipok, Thoubal, Organizing an unified Bocce game as a mark of EKS Day celebration.

Janet Froetscher, CEO of Special Olympics said "Today, we celebrate the legacy of an extraordinary leader who was a champion for people with intellectual disabilities all over the world. Furious at their exclusion from society nearly 50 years ago, she had a vision that sports could build confidence and skills. And, that sport could demonstrate to the world the abundance of talents of people with intellectual disabilities and connect them into society. She founded the Special Olympics as a Vehicle to make that happen. Her legacy is the important work Special Olympics does every day through sports, health services, education and changed policy and attitudes. Let us appropriately honour her legacy by joining together in sports, in communities across the country, People with and without intellectual disabilities playing on teams together, playing unified".

About Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day

Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day is an annual celebration of her life and global all challenging everyone to play unified, speak unified, and lived unified. This invitation items from Mrs. Shriver teaching that on the play field, we forget about difference and recognized our mutual humanity. On EKS Day we invite you to join us in playing unified and teaching the world to live unified. As founder of Special Olympics and executive Vice President of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a leader in the world wide struggle to improve and enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities for more than fair decades. Eunice Kennedy's actions helped open the minds of all people to the gifts and talents of individual with Intellectual disabilities. She believed in their possibilities, which full hope in all of us to make a difference Eunice Kennedy Shriver demonstrated an unrelenting indomitable spirit in action that one person could difference and change the world her lasting legacy must be our continued commitment to improve and transform the lives of the 200 million people world wide with intellectual disabilities who still live with diminished opportunity and social disrespect and are often neglected and hidden away.

EUNICE KENNEY SHRIVER (1921 - 2009)

As former and honorary chairperson of Special Olympics and executive Vice-President of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a leader in the world wide struggle to improve and enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities for more than five decades.

She was born in Brookline Massachusetts, the fifth of nine children of Joseph P. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. She was an arts graduate in Sociology from stand ford University in Polo Alto, California.

Her love & affection to her sister Rosemony, an intellectually disable ignited her hope to the establishment of Special Olympics with the moral support of her brother John. F. Kennedy, former President of United State.

Recognizing throughout the world for her efforts on behalf of persons with intellectual disabilities, Shriver was conferred prestigious awards & honour including Presidential Medal of Freedom. On 24 March 1984 U.S. President Ronald Reagan awarded Shriver the presidential medal of freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, for her outstanding contribution to the intellectually disable people.

In 2005 she was honoured for her work with Special Olympics as one of the first recipients of sidewalk medallion on the Extra Mile point of Light Pathway the Washington D.C.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver died on August 11, 2009. Her husband Sargent Shriver, died January, 18, 2011. They are survived by their five children. Robert Sargent Shriver III, Maria Owings Shriver, Timothy Perry Shriver, Mark Kennedy Shriver and Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver.

About Special Olympics

Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics in 1968 at Chicago, Soldier Field to conduct Sports Programme of Olympics type sports for the persons with intellectual disabilities all over the world. Special Olympics movement has grown up from a few hundred athletes to more than 4-2 million athletes in the 170 countries, with the support of more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics is able to deliver 32 Olympics- type sports and more than 70,000 competitions throughout the year. Sport remains the mainstay of the Special Olympics Programme the capacity of the athletes regular training and additional initiative that help strengthen the athlete - mentally, physically and emotionally.

Special Olympics Bharat

Special Olympics Bharat is registered with the Indian Trust Act in 2001 and later recognized by the Government of India as a National Sports Federation in the Priority Category for the development of Sports for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities accredited in special Olympics. Further, Designated as the Nodal Agent for sports for all disabilities on account of its national presence outreach and experience. Special Olympics Bharat works across all state and union Territories in India, by organizing sports training and competitions at various levels - local, District, State, National and International. Based on abilities and performance, athletes cross each level to participate at higher consecutive levels.

Manipur Chapter

The Sports movement of Intellectual disabilities began in 2003, with an initiative of late Km. Ch. Geetabali Devi as Area Director, under the banner of Special Olympics Bharat, Manipur Chapter. Many other committed and dedicated members joined the organisation carried out sports programme throughout the year at different level. Manipur Chapter is registered bearing Regd. No. 305/N/RS/2007 under the registration Act 1968.

Encouraging the sports activities of Special Olympics Bharat, Manipur Chapter, Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt. of Manipur in its notification NO. 7/7/2001 -YAS/5dt. 5th August 2005, disciplines of Special Olympics games and sports has been included in the A (III) Category for extending financial assistance to impart coaching in district, Zonal national & international competitions.

To fulfill the mission of special Olympics " year round sports training and athletes completion in a variety of Olympic type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience, Joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other special Olympics athletes and community " special Olympics Bharat Manipur Chapter is tirelessly approaching to achieve the goal.

Highlight of Special Olympics Bharat Manipur chapter's activities.

State Program:
(i) 1st State Games was held on 15-18-2002 at Khuman Lampak
(ii) 2nd State Games was held on 23-28 Nov., 2004 at Khuman Lampak
(iii) 3rd State Games was held on18-20 Feb., 2008 at Khuman Lampak
(iv) 1st State Games under MYAS for Imphal West District was held on 1- 4 June, 2011 at Khuman Lampak
(v) 2nd State Games under MYAS for Thoubal and Imphal East District was held on 28 - 31 May, 2012 at Khuman Lampak.
(vi) 3rd State Games under MYAS for Bishnupur, Chandel & Churachandpur District was held on 8 - 10 May, 2014 at Khuman Lampak.

National Coaching Camp:
(i) National Coaching Camp in Football held on 12-24 Oct., 2008 at Khuman Lampak
(ii) National Coaching Camp in Athletics held on 4-10 Oct., 2009 at Khuaman Lampak
(iii) National Coaching Camp in Handball held on 25 - 31 May, 2012 at Khuman Lampak

Under Special Olympics Program selected coaches of Special Olympics, teacher/caregiver of SSA having sports background are trained in Master Trainer course being conducted at LNUPE, Gwalior. Coaches of Special Olympics have also trained in P.G. Diploma at Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Coimbatore and conduct Healthy athletes Program for screening Health of the Athletes.

In International Events:
Footballer W. Ranendra Singh and Coach N. Ojit Singh represented India in the XI Special Olympics World Summer Games 2003 held at Dublin, Ireland, India won Bronze.

In the XIII World Summer Games (25th June -4th July, 2011) held at Athens birthplace of the Olympics Games one coach and four athletes represented India in Athens. Punshisana Mutum won Gold in half marathon and was awarded 4th place in 3000 meter race. W. Pritam Singh, a playing member of Indian Handball Team was awarded Silver. Chanam Abung and Satjahao Doungel represented India in Football & H. Chaoba Singh officiated as Indian Football coach.

Satjahao Doungel also participated in the qualifying World Unified Football Cup tournament recently concluded in Bangkok (15th -12st June, 2013) as a playing member of Indian Football Team.

In a reception hosted by Horse Riding & Polo Association of Manipur, Manipur Equestrian Association and Manipur Pony Society, our International players were honoured with Mementoes and Blazer coats. Special Olympics Manipur wishes to extend heartfelt thanks to Horse Riding & Polo association, Manipur Equestrian Association and Manipur Pony Society for supporting Special Olympics movement.

Special Olympics also organize Healthy Athlete Program to promote healthy life style for Special athletes and also to provide Health Education. In Manipur "Med Fest" was successfully conducted at Khuman Lampak sport complex on 14th November, 2008. 2nd Healthy Athlete Program -Special Smile was conducted on 6th September, 2009 at Thoubal. This year Fun Fit program was conducted at Eastern Ground Imphal on 12th May, 2013.

Goals of Special Olympics:

The goal of Special Olympics is to bring all Persons with Intellectual Disabilities into the larger society under condition whereby they are accepted, respected and given the chance to become useful and productive citizens.

The blind has their Helen Keller; they had, many other famous people in their ranks; the deaf had Beethoven and other outstanding personalities. Among the feebleminded, there is non who, through his achievements, could demonstrate to the public his value and the value of those afflicted like him. It is up to us, then, to uphold the value of these human beings. It is up to us to help extend respect for human dignity to those creatures also; it is up to us who live with them and who loves them. For we know what they need and we know what they can give us.

There is not one among the feebleminded whose worth is revealed to mankind like a tall, burning flame, licking to high heaven, like those great personalities who overcome their handicaps. Despite all our efforts the feebleminded will always remain little flames. These little flames we must shield with our hands…. For these little flames radiate warmth and soothing quite joy; they shine on the road that leads to the wisdom of the heart, to human maturity and to true wealth.

"Let me win…….But if I can not win…….Let me be brave in the attempt"


* Prof M Akshayakumar Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is president, Special Olympics Bharat - Manipur Chapter
This article was posted on September 28, 2014.


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