[AI] Article in Indian express 9 June 2018

Shubhanku Kochar shubhankukochar at outlook.com
Sat Jun 9 20:22:23 EDT 2018

truly inspiring

With best wishes 
Dr. Shubhanku kochar
Assistant Professor 

University  School  of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity like you and I 
Guru gobingsingh indrprastha univercity
Mob. No.  9717464887
Sent from my iPhone

> On 09-Jun-2018, at 2:58 PM, Kanchan Pamnani <kanchanpamnani at gmail.com> wrote:
> http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2018/jun/
> 09/adventure-abled-bengalureans-who-even-out-the-odds-1825527.html
> Adventure-abled: Bengalureans who even out the odds
> The 29-year-old blind content writer is passionate about travel and never
> misses an opportunity to do something extraordinary.
> BENGALURU: Losing a limb or vision has not stopped these Bengalureans from
> having an adventure. In fact, they go seeking it. They ski, do snowshoeing,
> run marathons and climb walls. Poonam Vaidya loves to challenge the odds.
> The 29-year-old blind content writer is passionate about travel and never
> misses an opportunity to do something extraordinary.
> Through her friend, she learned about the training programme at the
> Colorado Center for the Blind which included sports such as skiing and rock
> climbing. She took the nine-month programme from July 2015 to February
> 2016. “I am not into sports actually but I don’t miss a chance to
> participate. Every month at the training, I was trying to expand the
> horizon. It includes a range of activities from routine things to
> self-defence training, rock climbing, skiing, white-water rafting and
> bungee jumping,” she says.
> [image:
> http://images.newindianexpress.com/uploads/user/ckeditor_images/article/2018/6/8/ADV.jpg]
> Mohammad Niyamath
> She says she gets a sense of accomplishment from these. “We also had indoor
> obstacle courses where we had to climb up short walls, weave through
> spiderwebs and crawl through tunnels. While skiing, there used to be an
> expert behind me who would control my movements with strings to help
> provide directions. I wasn’t afraid. It was difficult at first to wear the
> ski, it was hard to fit it onto my legs and learn to balance. I fell once
> or twice but picked it up soon. The main instructors have been training for
> 20 years and, hence, they know how to include blind skiers,” she shares.
> *Winning marathoner*
> Poonam, who lost her vision about seven and a half years ago, to optic
> degeneration, was one of 30 other visually impaired girls at the Pinkathon
> in 2015. “I got second place for 5k run in the visually impaired category,”
> she says. She also participated in a rock-climbing session organised by
> another group Strings in El Dorado. “It was a man made place with natural
> rocks. They had six levels of difficulties. I climbed only two walls as I
> decided to take it a little easy,” she says.
> Mohammad Niyamath, who was affected by polio leaving his right leg shorter
> than left by three and a half foot, also didn’t have much interest in
> adventure sports until he participated in a trek organised by an NGO in the
> early 90s. Neither he nor his family was confident that he would be able to
> do it. But, he soon became the first disabled person to climb walls along
> with regular climbers. He says, “I kept practising. But there was a break
> of about six years due to my studies, class 10 and family responsibility.”
> He trained himself to be an electrician as he was the sole bread winner for
> his family. “I then got appointed as a trainer at an indoor rock-climbing
> place Equilibrium. I started training other people.”
> He uses a caliper, and uses his upper-body strength to climb. Mohammad has
> had three to four falls and each time, the aluminium rod on the caliper,
> gets damaged, it has cost him Rs 10,000. But, these setbacks have not
> stopped him. He has since participated in several international events and
> won medals. “After I won a gold medal in paraclimbing in 2013, my family
> became more confident and supportive. My neighbours became more encouraging
> too,” he says.
> *Clockwork training*
> He also adds that he is proud of training six blind people, of which three
> women and a man won medals at the National Sport Climbing Championship held
> in Jammu Kashmir recently. “I didn’t know how to communicate to them and
> help them identify the colour of the rocks, for them to climb in a pattern.
> Then, we worked together a guiding system that follows a clock’s hands...
> for example, telling them to reach for the 7’o clock-rock,” he says.
> Shalini Saraswathi who wanted to stay healthy after her amputation decided
> to run. She says running gives her lot of joy. The 39-year-old has also
> participated in the TCS World 10K twice in 2016 and 2017.
> A quadruple amputee, she has lost all four of her limbs after a rare
> bacterial infection. Her family has been a great support system, she says.
> “They just have some anxiety about if it’s painful to run with amputation
> or what if I fall,” she adds. She also tried rock climbing but she says she
> couldn’t do it as it does not work well with prosthetics.
> The sports enthusiasts participated in a wall climbing activity held at
> Equilibrium Climbing Station in association with Adventures Beyond Barriers
> Foundation.
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