The third edition of Junoon 2014 — a two-day national sports fest for youth with disabilities organised by the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani — began on Saturday. Dr Satendra Singh, Assistant Professor of Physiology at Delhi’s Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital was the chief guest of the event.
The fest began with several games being organised between disabled and other students. Over 200 participants from eight NGOs working in the disability sector — four from Delhi, one from Jaipur and three others from Jhunjhunu and other nearby areas — are participating in Junoon this year.
According to Kartavya Khanna, NSS President and a third-year BTech student at the college, the fest was first held two years ago after the body felt the need to extend sporting opportunities to all youth irrespective of their physical conditions.
“We started this in 2012 as a one-day event when only racing competitions were held. The next year, we thought of expanding it to other sports. So bicycle extravaganza, basketball and volleyball were added in Junoon 2013. This year, bocce (a ball sport), basketball, cricket, volleyball and athletics have been organised,” Khanna told Newsline over phone from Pilani.
Khanna said that disability is often treated as an illness in India and that Junoon attempts to bridge that gap as the fest inculcates a sense of equality among people.