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People with disabilities in Chennai gets an underwater experience, thanks to Ektha Foundation

Last week, Chennai based Ektha Foundation that works towards empowering people with disabilities organised a one day training programme for scuba diving. 25 people with various kinds of disabilities took part in the event. After its grand success, organisers are now gearing up to hold more scuba diving sessions in the city in the coming months.

For Rupa Rajendran, a scuba diving experience was something she never dreamt of doing in her lifetime. Rupa, who has dwarfism, has a spinal cord injury as well owing to which she never tried her luck with water. But the recent one day scuba diving training programme organised by Chennai based Ektha Foundation opened doors of opportunities for Rupa and many others like her. All the participants thoroughly enjoyed the session and are looking forward for more.

Scuba diving has become one of the most popular sports amongst youngsters. But for a person with disability, having an underwater experience, especially when they do not know how to swim, can be hard. That is precisely why Ektha Foundation decided to host the programme for people with disabilities to experience the fun and thrill of scuba diving. The event that was held on 2 November was attended by over 25 people with disabilities including cerebral palsy, dwarfism, muscular dystrophy, visual impairment and other spinal cord injuries.

Satish Kumar, co-ordinator of the event, says that the one day programme was a grand success. Ektha Foundation, that has always worked towards promoting para sports, is looking forward to organise the scuba diving sessions once in every three months.

I did scuba diving last year for the first time. Ever since then I wanted to do something similar for others as well. We want more people with disabilities to experience the thrill of the sport. Moreover, going underwater is truly a relaxing experience. All the participants were excited and happy after trying it out. That is why we want to do this more often-Satish Kumar, Co-ordinator, Ektha Foundation.

Aravind, the trainer from Temple Adventures in Pondicherry was glad to partner with Ektha to provide a first-hand experience in scuba diving for the participants. Dr Raja from Adhi Parasakthi Medical College dropped in to ensure that medical emergencies are taken care of. All the participants had wearing gears of over 21 kgs with their air cylinders to experience the beauty and depth of underwater.

People with disabilities are now coming forward to experience newer things which they before thought could never be done. With Ektha Foundation laying a stepping stone, more NGO's and organisations can take cue. "It was such a thrilling and adventurous experience to go underwater. I'am definitely going to participate in the next programme as well. Our trainer taught us how to control breathing while going underwater and made sure that we did it properly. Since my spinal cord is injured, I cannot walk properly. So never thought I could experience something beautiful like this", says", says Rupa.

For details, you can contact Satish Kumar at +91 97109-03660.

Also Read: Ektha Foundation is working to being greater visibility to people with neurological disabilities

Also Read: Aspiring boccia players are provided the right training at Ektha Foundation



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