In Nagaland, Disability Issues Have Been Poorly Understood — Nakhro
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Nagaland, Nagaland Sports

In Nagaland, disability issues have been poorly understood — Nakhro

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By Our Reporter Updated: Feb 16, 2020 12:06 am

Blind Football introduced for the first time in Nagaland

blind football training camp 01
Players of Blind peoples during a training session at the Nagaland Blind Football Training Camp in Dimapur, Nagaland on Saturday, 15 February 2020. EM Images/ Caisii Mao

Our Reporter
Dimapur, Feb. 15 (EMN):
Persons with Disabilities (PwD) continue to face stigma, discrimination, bias and social stereotyping in Nagaland as the society has understood disability poorly, with little awareness on disability rights and issues, according to Diethono Nakhro, the state commissioner for PwD.

She was addressing the inaugural session of Nagaland Blind Football Demo/Training Camp, organised by State Disability Forum and Prodigals’ Home in collaboration with the Indian Blind Football Federation at Don Bosco Higher Secondary School ground in Dimapur on Saturday. The camp will conclude on February 16.

During the two-day training, Nakhro said, they would focus mainly on learning more about blind football. She said that the “honest and grim reality is that people with disability are the most excluded group in our society” and added that they have been marginalised for so long that they are barely visible as equal citizens of the state.

Nakhro lamented that para-sports in the disability sector has been ignored, and not been promoted at all in the state. She also said that some individuals, from the PwD community, have earned laurels for the state but people barely hear about them.

“There has been nothing for sportspersons with disabilities as nobody pays any attention to the disability community,” she added.

Nakhro also acknowledged the positive changes that are taking place, stating that the state government is willing to listen and work together. She added that steps have been taken to set up the Nagaland Paralympics’ Association, which will focus on building up various Paralympics sports. This will open opportunities for young athletes with disabilities who are interested in sports, she said.

Speaking to Eastern Mirror, Nakhro said that earlier, Special Olympics used to be held in the state but it was not well organised. She informed that there were two categories of sports for disabilities; one was ‘Paralympics’ which is mainly for locomotive disabilities and ‘Special Olympic’ sports which is mainly to do with intellectual disabilities.

Nakhro said that this is the first time in Nagaland that anything to do with disability sports is taking place and that ‘it was just a simple introduction to Paralympics sports’. She hoped that they would be able to move forward with the support of the government, Sports department and other organisations.

Also speaking on the occasion, Sporting Director of Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF), Sunil J Mathew said that they work under the Union Ministry of Sports; and blind football is played in 64 countries. India, he informed, is ranked 28th.

He also explained that they were trying to rehabilitate the visually challenged people for jobs; and added the IBFF was the only organisation in India that runs a para-sports academy, at Kochi in Kerala.

He said that currently they have blind football teams in 23 states and opined that they have a long way to go to make sure that India reaches the top 16 rankings, so that it can participate in the Blind Football World Cup.

The treasurer of Nagaland State Disabilities Forum, V Fatima Kera, said that they have two teams, which include eight boys and nine girls from Nagaland, and 16 players from Meghalaya.

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By Our Reporter Updated: Feb 16, 2020 12:06:23 am
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