Sivananda, Athlete from Manipur, attended the GMS 7 training held in Guwahati, Assam. For him the training is a trophy to a new beginning. It is not easy for him but easier than the rejection he has faced. Getting drawn towards tech gizmos made him especially interested in computer related activities. Standing at the doorstep of his neighbour and watching him work on the computer deepened his desire, but what Sivananda did not expect was getting spurned by him because he was ‘different’. His father who was watching,hurt,but, took this as a challenge.
This happened in 2015 and his father who was watching decided to have Sivananda computer trained. He got comfortable with the computer, learnt to create cards working on Microsoft office. His SO Bharat Coach suggested that he takes the GMS training and contribute productively at his Special Olympics State office. To help him through the training was Tanseng, Program Manager, SO Bharat- Meghalaya, “ He must learn and repeat simpler steps first and then progress to more applications. Regular practise will help him”
At the age of 2 ½ years , his delayed milestones urged his family to have him examined by a doctor. His condition was pronounced as grave, following a forcep delivery that went wrong and he was suggested to see a neurosurgeon. Although he was seen unable to perform many activities of Daily living with difficulty, he continued going to a mainstream school and was promoted to the 9th standard. He was unable to follow even the simple instructions in class. Even when asked to write a sentence repeatedly, he could do it a few times and not more.
In 2002 he joined a Special school and the SO Bharat program. He beams at the mention of Bocce, a sport he loves. He has tried Athletics, Football and Floor hockey, under the guidance of his Coach, N Ojit Singh, but Bocce remains his favourite.
His father, who is a retired Govt employee (with the Geological Survey of India) says that much of the transformation that he has seen in his son is more because of Special Olympics and not so much due to the Special school. He says, “A lot has taken shape due to him joining SO Bharat. The travel has made him confident and friendly. He keeps making new friends. He says that most of his friends are younger than him but still he is happy to be with him. And he feels proud when he dons the SO Bharat T shirt!”