Building abilities through Sports
Hamza Kachwala, 22yrs, feels happy as he walks into his workplace which is the State Bank of India, Mumbai. He compiles data, working comfortably on the applications he is familiar with. He received his training from the SPJ Sadhna Special School that cocooned him right since his early years. He has always been conscious about earning and supporting his family, seeing his father work hard at a private firm and his mother constantly keeping their home in order.
Hamza was diagnosed with mild Autism at the age of 4. His parents approached the doctor when they observed that he rarely spoke and when he did, it was words and not sentences. He was introduced to Special Olympics at his school. Both the organizations together defined his onward journey. His Coach Ms Rajshree trained and mentored him in Athletics, Cricket, Football and Table Tennis. Swimming too became his sport, turning his fear of water to excelling and winning medals at various events. Ms Rajshree, his Coach , continued to explore and nurture the sporting abilities within Hamza. She has been associated with SO Bharat for over 19 years. He also showed interest and got involved in activities like, Clay Modelling, grooming skills etc
The year 2014 came with a great milestone achieved in his journey, when he first travelled independently with the SO Bharat Maharashtra contingent for a National Camp
While sports made him independent and confident, his ability to communicate sharpened and he cracked out of his shell speaking at events held in his school and joining Athlete leadership in his state. His virtual engagements at SO Bharat events exposed his talent to the audience from all over the country
Seeing his personality develop with a blend of all the stimulation he received, Rajshree commented, “He is so honest, so well-informed about anything, about Covid etc. Once a long trip was offered to him but he declined as there was his sister’s wedding coming up and he felt that an amount of expense can be saved.”
Before lock down he worked as a junior office assistant. At present he is working from home under a supervisor who he admires and has accepted as his mentor at work. He is so happy working at the bank that he wishes for many other Athletes to join him as well
“Sports has given him an identity and a recognition. Hamza has changed , from a shy person to being confident and independent. There is positivity around him. He has friends from his school and he stays in touch” Mrs Sarrah Kachwala, his mother