It takes only a few seconds to strike a conversation with Advaith. His confidence, curiosities, politeness can take anyone by surprise. In May 2018 when he participated at the first Preparatory Camp (for the Abu Dhabi games 2019) held in Haryana, he was identified by a group of Youth leaders. Advaith remembered and asked about them at the Camp he is attending currently.
He attended the Prep camp in Rajasthan for the Abu Dhabi Games to participate in Aquatics. The calm demeanor hides the struggles he went through in his early childhood and those that he fights even now. Advaith’s mother was overwhelmed as she spoke about a difficult pregnancy, delayed milestones and an attack of Meningitis that shaped her son’s early childhood. He was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Mild Mental Retardation. However, she guided Advaith through his studies in a mainstream school where she herself is a teacher. He was educated in the ‘Resource Room’. He could not write but was perfect with his orals. In fact Advaith chants the Sanskrit Shlokas ( Vishnu Sahistra Nama) 100 verses at a go, with ease. He continued to study through the Open Education system after completing grade 8 at the Pallavi Model School, Telangana. It is here that his coach Mr Rama Rao identified his flair for aquatics. For two years he went to a Special School- Sharda Special School
In 2016 Advaith went for the first Special Olympics Camp which was held in Mumbai for Aquatics followed by attending an exclusive Aquatics training Camp in Goa in June 2017. His parents feel that through these camps his confidence has gone up. Although he has always been social but now it’s as if he can walk up to anyone and strike a conversation without any inhibitions. This Camp maps his progress as it is the first without any of his parents. His father accompanied him to the Camp held in Goa.
When at home, Advaith likes to browse the net, searching for online quizzes. His favorite TV show was Kaun banega Crorepati (KBC). He plays the Key board. At Sharda Special School he has anchored programs. His latest desire is to learn driving. He drives a scooty to run errands for his mother. While doing so he has also learnt to manage money
In preparation of the World Games he practices swimming daily for 3 hours at the Gachibawli Stadium, waking up at 6:30AM. He doesn’t want his parents to be there while he is practicing under the guidance of a Coaches there.
“As parents we have learnt from Advaith too: his clear thoughts, his affection”, says his mother, “It is overwhelming to see him growing so confident. I feel privileged to be part of Special Olympics. Earlier too we went out of our way for Advaith but kept wondering whether what we were doing was right, we were unsure. Special Olympics has given us hope”