Strengthening the Message of Inclusion in Haryana

On 20 and 21 November, Special Olympics Bharat gathered 55 teachers, volunteers and coaches over two days introducing them to Special Olympics and the inclusion movement.

With the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), the event positioned seventeen new schools to participate in Unified Sports and youth engagement. Sessions included an overview of the Young Athletes program, and the introduction of dance as a new Special Olympics sport.

An outdoor session introduced Unified Sports through 15-minute simulations in sports like volleyball, handball, and football. Participants were able to observe and evaluate the performance of both athletes and Unified partners based on skill and coordination.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) — India’s Education for All Movement — had an important presence at the training. Recently, the State of Haryana put out an important advisory to local SSA coordinators to institute Unified Sports in school in their divisions.

“I am very keen to introduce the concept of Unified schools in all the SSA schools in the district of Faridabad. We would be happy to conduct these programs within our premises and would like to take this forward,” says Anita Sharma, District Coordinator for the Faridabad SSA Department.

Sharma oversees 140 SSA schools that will be introduced to Unified Schools and the inclusion movement in the upcoming year. Three more divisions are expected to join in early 2019.

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