In 2002 Niren , 14 yrs, came to the Mitra Rehabilitation centre Mogri as shy, under confident and not willing to talk to strangers. Niren was diagnosed with mild mental retardation but managed to study in a mainstream school till the 7th grade. The circumstances had not much to offer to him as he had lost his mother while his father having mild ID was unable to take care of him. His brother took the responsibility to do so.
At the Mitra Rehabilitation Centre Niren was mentored by Jignesh Thakkar, SO Bharat Coach who had joined SO Bharat in 2001. He observed a flair for Table Tennis, Bocce and later floor hockey. Niren played well in all. Through regular practises Niren participated in table tennis at the SOAP Regional Games held in Australia in 2013, winning a silver each in Singles and doubles. His performance in Floor Hockey took him through three preparatory Camps held for the Austria Games 2017. He was, unfortunately, unable to go for the rest of the camps due to asthma which aggravates in colder regions.
Niren, now 30 yrs, is an Assistant Coach who also introduced Bocce to teachers from mainstream schools. Over the years, participation in camps at various levels – State, National, and International has made him diametrically opposite to what he was at the time of joining the organization. He now has no inhibitions in talking to strangers also. He is fluent in Gujarati and Hindi.
Jignesh joined SO Bharat in 2001 and is also overall in-charge of a school- Gurukripa Residential School, Anand. The school extends Special education to under 18 yr old students and vocational training to over 18. Niren works with him as an Assistant teacher there. He is also a member of the district board of SO Bharat Gujarat- Aanand and plays a proactive role in planning events together. He has also officiated at a few camps held. 2-3 years back he lost his father while his brother who is married, left for the USA. Niren stays independently, he gets a rental income and also draws a regular monthly salary.