Volume 2 Issue 11 - June 01, 2004

Disabled people in Olympic Torch Relay

DNIS News Network -- On June 10, history will be made as the Olympic Torch is carried through Delhi as part of the first-ever Global Olympic Torch Relay.

Picture of the Olympic Torch Relay logo.

Among the sports stars and celebrities who have been selected to take their turn bearing the flame from Qutab Minar to the National Stadium will be two lesser known, but no less remarkable personalities.

Wheelchair user Aslam Amin and partially sighted athlete Ravinder Singh Nagar epitomize the true Olympic spirit of taking part and striving to succeed.

Amin was severely disabled in an accident at the age of 6 but has refused to be held back by his misfortune. The double-amputee strived for academic success and was accepted for a master's degree in computer applications at Delhi's Hamdard University. Financial backing to help Amin complete his studies was provided when he was awarded a scholarship from NCPEDP. He went on to win the prestigious 2002 Best Scholar Award, presented by Sonia Gandhi, and later gained a position as a consultant for HCL Perot.

Carrying the torch is, for Amin, a signal to the world that he has plenty to offer. It proves that being in a wheelchair need not be a barrier to living a productive and useful life: "I am really honoured to have been chosen to carry the torch. It feels great to finally prove to the world that I have overcome my disability," he said.

NCPEDP Executive Director Javed Abidi applauded the involvement of disabled participants saying: "I am very pleased that Samsung short-listed Aslam Amin and Ravinder Singh among other superstars. These two young men may be disabled but they are definitely not handicapped in any way whatsoever!"

The second disabled torchbearer, Ravinder Singh, is a partially sighted athlete who came fourth in the 800m at the World Championship Games for the Blind in Quebec, Canada in 2003.

These two young men are proud to have been chosen to represent India and truly epitomise the Olympian ideals of "faster, stronger, higher".

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