An ability rather than a Disability

Priyanka 20 yrs old, was born into an atmosphere of conflict and strain, as recalled by her mother, Anurita Dewan. She observed that although Priyanka was born fine, she often turned blue when she cried. Her delayed milestones, unclear speech left no doubt that she would require special care. Priyanka never saw her father as he was unhappy to have a girl child. He left them when she was a month old. Her parents got divorced.

Priyanka was brought up under the care of her maternal grandparents where she, her sister and mother stay even now, in Paschim Vihar New Delhi. Her mother does not work but has received support from her parents throughout. Priyanka’s grandparents are retired, the grandmother from the Health Ministry and the grandfather from ONGC. Unfortunately, her grandfather passed away a few months back

Priyanka attended a mainstream school till the 6th grade with frequent complaints from her teachers, of her inability to cope with studies. There was a time when Priyanka refused going to school as she felt humiliated and developed a fear for it. She began to withdraw.

It was after joining the Kulachi Manovikas School New Delhi she started to regain her confidence. She was encouraged to participate in the cultural activities. Her excitement for music and talent on the keyboard surfaced soon after. In 2007 she joined the SO Bharat sports program in her school. She showed an inclination towards skating in basic skills, since the age of 8 and even participated in competitions

Approx a year and a half back she was placed under the mentorship of Prabhat , Coach with SO Bharat since 2016. He observed that while her basic skating skills were good, she needed to progress. He concentrated on developing her technical skills, focusing on her posture, cross overs, body movement etc. At the Abu Dhabi Games Priyanka competed in  Roller skating winning Gold, Silver and Bronze across different events within the sport.Prabhat monitored her sessions closely, giving her practise along with children without Intellectual Disabilities. The differences between his students don’t strike him as he moves on with these sessions. The whole group practises, concentrates on learning the skills and has fun together. The families, too, who visit the premises are

happy to observe that all learn together. Initially few were surprised to see Priyanka getting trained just as the others. Having trained more Athletes Prabhat says that Special Olympics plays a crucial role in developing the confidence, independence, communication skills and sporting skills in this segment, who probably, gain this experience nowhere else”

Winning Medals at the World Games is a dream come true for her. Back when she was 8yrs, Priyanka had just started skating, she went to her mother saying that she wants to represent India. Anurita explained her practically that for achieving that both would have to do a lot. Her mother has always been with Priyanka for every practise session, for every event, wherever allowed. As she sees Priyanka play cricket, she sees her play the keyboard, listen to music, recreate it..she still wonders – A learning Disability is something that Anurita does not understand completely even now. How can a child not perform well in studies but is great on the internet. They look just like all the others. She had both her daughters , Priyanka and Shivangi 21 ys , join a special school. Now both are learning Computers.