In a quaint town of Korba in Chattisgarh Yogendra Shrivas was made to join Ankur Vocational Training Centre, as he was diagnosed with border line Intellectual Disabilities. His family which toiled to make ends meet was confronted with yet another challenge. His father is a peon with a corporate while his mother is a home maker. He has a brother and a sister.
Yogendra who is now a technician with an automobile enterprise and is married talks about the transformative experience he had while being part of the Special Olympics Program. He joined SO Bharat 10 years back when he was 15 yrs of age. Although he participated in Athletics at district and state levels, cycling brought out his true forte. His ride to the vocational center covering a distance of 10-15 kms daily nurtured his talent further. Taking guidance from Mr. N K Tiwari, Sports Director and from Mr. Dinesh Chouhan, Program Manager, he participated in the National Championships held in Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh leading to his selection for the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2011 at Athens, Greece. His victory of Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals, winning one of each in cycling left everyone spell bound. He was made to lead a huge procession celebrating his grand victory, in the presence of the local MLA( Member of legislative Assembly) and SP (Superintendant of police).He received the admiration of his parents neighbors, friends like never before.
His achievements had just started, as the sports program went beyond the sports field, planting in him an unrelenting craving for learning. He learnt skills of a mechanic and joined M. K. Diesels Pvt. Ltd as a helper to wash parts of engines of mining equipments like Dumper, Dozer etc. The Managing Director recruited him on a condition that he would continue only based on his performance at work and also vis-a-vis his co-workers and the environment of the service centre. Here again he surprised his seniors by his acquired work skills. Yogendra has been promoted as technician churning a better output than other workers. He is punctual and knows the engine parts like the back of his hand, and operates bank accounts too. He has been awarded State Award as Best Disabled Employee in 2013 and continues to work. His mode of transport has graduated from a cycle to a motorbike.
Arundhati Kulakarni, Area Director SO Bharat- Chattisgarh, “ Definitely due to Special Olympics Activities he is mainstreamed and it is his achievements in Special Olympics that boosted his morale leading to his rehabilitation and Inclusion”