A marathon that showcases abilities and possibilities – My Take by Justin Jesudas
This week on My Take Justin Vijay Jesudas, the brainchild behind the Kotak Wheelchair Marathon, talks to Newz Hook. The marathon will be held in Chennai on 3 September.
We came up with the idea of a wheelchair marathon because most often in newspaper articles you come across statements like someone is wheelchair-bound or a wheelchair user.
In fact, this is not the case because without the wheelchair I would not be able to go anywhere. The wheelchair enables instead of confining. We wanted to showcase abilities and possibilities, and not disabilities.
When people see someone on a wheelchair, they see a disability when actually that person can do so much.
The Kotak Wheelchair Marathon is all about showcasing capabilities. It is also inclusive because we want the so-called able-bodied people to take part so they get a perspective of people with disabilities. The idea is to break barriers and to start a conversation. It is a true icebreaker as it helps people in society understand those who have disabilities.
The aim of the marathon is also to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries. Most people do not understand the various issues around spinal cord injuries and the problems related to it like bladder and bowel control. Through the marathon, we want to raise funds and support families.
Why a marathon and not any other event to raise awareness? That’s because as someone who pursues sport, I believe that any sport at a competitive level makes you mentally agile and encourages you to push yourself forward repeatedly – to make you want to try and try again. It also helps integrate you with society.
About the Writer
Justin Jesudas is a deputy general manager with Cognizant. He is also a keen sportsman. He took part in the 2015 World Championship in para swimming and finished in the top 15. He also won a gold medal in the national shooting championship in Pune last year.