Whether she has to pay for Hanumanta’s sports practises and participation, is the first question that strains his mother. It is only when she is told that nothing is to be paid, does she agree to send him. His mother is a widow and struggles as a daily wager to make ends meet . Hanumanta’s family consists of his mother and an elder brother who too works for daily wages. Born with Multiple Disabilities made the journey tougher for his parents . Hanumanta, 18yrs now, has an IQ of 27 with Hearing Impairment and no speech.
In 2008 he joined Special Olympics Bharat through the Gujarat Samaj School, a Special School in South Goa. He has participated in Athletics, Bocce , Badminton and Volley Ball. His skills in Floor Hockey were assessed 2-3 years back and he was shortlisted in the sport.
Mahadev Shinde , Coach with SO Bharat since 1999 , has mentored Hanumanta, using common gestures for communicating with him. Mahadev himself has learnt special gestures which has made it easier for him to communicate with persons with hearing loss. He has always observed Hanumanta to be well behaved. Many a times he has raised support from the School authorities and the parent community for Hanumanta.
At the Floor Hockey Camp held in Solan, Himachal Pradesh in December 2015 , Mahadev quietly observed Hanumanta positioned as defender instead of being positioned forward. But, as a defender too he scored 3-4 goals and was re- positioned by the Coach there. “ He is very alert, and has a clear focus on his target. It is interesting to observe this change in Hanumanta, especially after he could not earlier ,hold his concentration for too long on any one subject”.
Hanumanta has got himself screened at various camps across all Healthy Athlete disciplines , including Fitfeet at the Preparatory camp held in Jharkhand in December 2016. He has used Hearing aid but faced difficulties in its adjustments later which would often make a loud noise and discontinued its usage.
Participating in Special Olympics camps has clearly made him follow discipline, has made him more social and independent. “ I can see a lot of development in him”, says Mahadev Shinde. In a group he tries to understand the ongoing conversation, trying to contribute to it effectively.
Hanumanta’s preparation in Floor Hockey for the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 is being monitored very closely by his Coach. He has a meticulously laid out regimen of building stamina and physical endurance daily at the Gym including cycling, treadmill etc. Every Sunday individual and team skills are refreshed and practised at his school, including other 4 team members going for the World Games along with more students of the school.
He understands that he is going for a big event and now has his focus fixed on winning