YES! I CAN

YES! I CAN

“Bowling is the strength of Pallav , to an extent that it surprises us many- a-times. During outdoor practises with a leather ball, there would be a higher probability of any of us to lose to him”, says his Coach.

Pallav Mehrotra is a Cricket fan and a keen player having represented SO Bharat in the sport at the SOAP Regional Games 2013 in Australia and at the South Asia Unified Cricket tournament held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He also participated in Softball at the Special Olympics World Summer Games held in LA in 2015.

Very early in their lives, Pallav and his sister, Smriti, lost their parents and turned to their maternal Uncle (Mama) who resides in Lucknow, UP . While Smriti got married and left for Mumbai, Maharashtra, Pallav joined a hostel run by his school, Asha Jyoti Vocational Training Centre ,Lucknow. His speech is unclear and hearing low. But he is often seen engaging deeply on his mobile device and the computer. His sister often seeks his help for her online searches and applications, as does Coach Aizaz.Right from the beginning he was sure of a spot in this tournament- Virtual cricket. The event once again made him spring into action, and he followed a fitness and practise routine, under the guidance of his Coach, Mohammad Aizaz, a Coach with the UP Chapter for over 18 years.

Around 2013, Pallav, who is 26 yrs now, joined Special Olympics, very soon after his mother’s demise. Having lost his father earlier, he was left with significant aggression that he frequently vented to deal with his helplessness. “Special Olympics came into his life as a saviour. I can never thank the state enough, for the timely offer. Things began to roll, with Pallav preparing for one event after the other. Preceding an international event, they have to prepare for events at various levels, local etc. His achievements made him feel like a hero. He felt that ‘ I can’. For him, he had to perform, no matter which event. In retrospect I realise how much Pallav has calmed down” – Says his sister, who keeps him busy by giving him ‘home-work’ on the computer, to keep him in practise.

Last year Pallav fractured his leg. The hospital that carried out his surgery offered him a job of recording data at the hospital, in exchange of a stipend. Unfortunately, the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown happened and for his safety he was asked to stay home, the hospital being one of the Covid Centres. But, the ever- cheerful Pallav gets joy from events such as this which continue to make him feel an achiever

“Pallav sees us all leading a routine. He wants one for himself too. The ability to learn is there, a potential to reach higher is visible, but the opportunities that were limited have plunged further in view of the pandemic. We hope to see him fulfil his wishes of leading a meaningful life like anyone else” – Smriti