An event is being organised in Pune this weekend in which 40 people and 10 differently-abled people together will take part in adventure activities like rappelling and slacklining. The event — Everyday Ability — is being organised by Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation (ABBF) — Pune-based organisation that organises adventure sports, and Firefox Cycles.
“Most people think that people who are blind or have any form of disability cannot take up adventure activities and here’s where we want to prove them wrong. Why not, we ask? And yes we can, is what we want to prove. It’s a myth that people with disabilities cannot do the same activity, at the same level or standard as an able-bodied person. We want to compete at the same level because we can. The technique is the same, it just needs some training, that’s all,” said Divyanshu Ganatra, founder of ABBF, who holds the distinction of being the first blind Indian to fly solo as a para-glider.
While one of the events is being held on Sunday in Pune, more events will be hosted in seven cities across India, Ganatra said. The host organisations hope to facilitate both systemic and individual change, in terms of inclusive workspaces for people with disabilities while simultaneously fostering change in attitudes via conversations that destroy stereotypes.
ABBF, which was established in 2014, has so far impacted at least 4000 people with disabilities and 1.5 lakh able-bodied individuals. After this event, Ganatra and 19 other team members from ABBF will take part in a tandem cycling competition. They will cycle 650 km from Pune to Goa.
“It would be the first time that a blind person would team up with a sighted person as a team and participate in a cycling competition. We could have had more teams but unfortunately, tandem cycles are very costly and we need sponsors for the event,” added Ganatra.