Chitrabhanu, the future Paralympics star!
At the age of 17, Chitrabhanu has notched up records comparable to that of a professional sportsman. He is a national award winner at swimming, ice skating and badminton events held by the Special Olympics Bharat.
"He is completely autistic", says mother Vandhana. "We found out when he was 2-3 years old. I realized that he was different and my suspicions were confirmed when we went in for diagnosis."
His parents soon realized that he had excellent stamina and put him in for sports.
"He never gets tired and can play and train for a long time. We put him in sports to reduce his hyperactivity levels. We found that he picked up any sport very quickly, and whatever he takes up, he excels at it" - Vandhana, Mother
Chitrabhanu goes to an inclusive school and is a verbal child with limited speech. His mother says they never let his disability discourage him or them. They plan to keep encouraging his passion for sports and at the same time, put him in for some vocational training. He is currently training under the Tamil Nadu director of the Special Olympics Bharat.
"We cannot dismiss a child just because he is non-verbal. As parents you must do your duty, and love and support the child and help him find the ability in his disability. One day he will discover it. I am not saying that there are no difficulties but one must have confidence in them" - Vandhana
Read about the others featured in our series, Children Who Inspire: