Noida, May 31 (IANS) Special Olympics Bharat hosted a three-day national Youth Summit from May 28-30 at Amity University, Noida, UP, to address the need and importance of creating an inclusive society for all. Over 180 youth participated from 22 states in the summit that was led by a resource team comprising leaders from the Special Olympics International, Special Olympics Asia Pacific, Amity University UP Noida and Special Olympics Bharat.
Anjum Chopra, former Indian women cricket captain and Air Marshal Denzil Keelor along with many other dignitaries were also present.
The Youth Summit began with understanding & analyzing the current scenario of Unified schools in India. Through various workshops, group activities and panel discussions, the summit focused on bringing together youth leaders, people with & without intellectual disability to come up with a plan for increasing inclusion in their respective schools or communities through Unified Sport, inclusive youth leadership, or other elements of youth engagement.
The activities were largely led by unified pairs who further stressed on the importance of nurturing unified schools in the country & the urgency to train people to become the change agents of inclusion in their home communities.
Over the three days, youth leaders received tools and resources to lead projects for social impact and inclusion through Unified Sport in their schools and communities while adult leaders learned how best to grow and enrich youth engagement in their respective regions.
On the concluding day of the summit, the National Youth Council was announced followed by a unified skit & a panel discussion to address the importance of engaging youth in promoting inclusion. Having successfully achieved the goal of creating a proactive Youth Activation Committee of the NCR SO Bharat will announce a National Youth Council (composed of youth leaders from all over India) of 15 members to spread the movement all over India.
A panel discussion witnessed an exchange of thoughts and perceptions on Inclusion and how each can affect it , expressed by eminent persons from diverse backgrounds. The panellists included Alexandra Westerbeek, Chief Communications UNICEF, Ashish Shah, CEO, Delhi Dynamos Football Club, Debayan Sen, Sr Asst Editor, ESPN, Madhu Lamba, CEO, Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust and Neha Singh, CSR, Herbalife Nutrition
Expressing her thoughts, Anjum said: ” “Inclusion is to include everybody. It is brave on the part of those who include everyone as it is on the part of those who struggle to get included. It is a wonderful concept and it is not easy. And also, sport by no means is easy. You have to take a decision at that moment. So what the athletes are doing at SO Bharat is not easy. It is wonderful!”