Pravat Baral, 28yrs, has represented India in all the 3 editions of the South Asia Unified T20 Cricket Tournament as an all-rounder and played all the games for his team. He captained SO Bharat in the crucial match against Sri Lanka ensuring a comfortable win and consequently a Silver Medal for Bharat in the 3rd South Asia Unified Cricket Tournament 2017 held in Ananthapur, Andhra Pradesh. He contributed an unbeaten 12 off 6 balls while opening the innings with Pullayappa Raju and also took 2 wickets with his fast bowling
Pravat joined SO Bharat in 2007 – demure, under confident and neglected. He was born with Multiple Disabilities, Speech and Hearing impairment with mild ID, into a family of limited means. His father earned through small time farming while his mother took care of their home. Unaware of the Special care he needed, his parents attempted to have him educated, which they did till he reached Class 3. It was understandable that Beruhan Sasan, a remote village in Puri district , Odisha, where he belonged, could offer him nothing more. As he grew, Pravat joined his father in agriculture. Day after day a mundane routine was followed till he received an unusual opportunity of joining ‘sports’. He was identified and given Special Education by Open Learning Systems (OLS), a voluntary organisation working for protection of the rights of the children with disabilities. Pravat received social, cognitive, physical, emotional and alternative-augmentative communication grooming in the Community Based Rehabilitation Centre of OLS that was being operated in the nearby Panchayat Office. This is where he was groomed in sports too
Pravat was identified by Kalindi Charan Bhoi , Coach with SO Bharat – Odisha for 12 yrs now. Kalindi mentored him through the Special Olympics events coaching him in multiple sport disciplines to which he showed a strong inclination.
Along with Cricket, Pravat has participated in Badminton, Football, Athletics, Aquatics, Floor ball Handball and Net ball events. He has won many medals in the State and National Championships held across many of the sports. His growth through sports is something no one in his village had envisaged. His family and the entire village community feel proud of Pravat’s inclination to sports and his achievements.
Pravat Baral also represented SO Bharat in the Inter Regional 11 A Side Unified Football Tournament held in November 2016 in Odisha in which SO Bharat won a Bronze competing against Korea, Thailand and Bangladesh. He is the only Athlete who played all three editions of the South Asia Unified Cricket held since 2014
Pravat continues to lend his hand to his father and two elder brothers in their family agriculture farming to make ends meet. Mr Prakash Rath, Area Director SO Bharat Odisha, ” he is a different person today, having a mobile phone of his own, using the facebook and whatsapp to good effect, interacting with others throughout the country. With his ability to blend easily with other Athletes, he is an asset to the Coaches, for whom he is always available”