Disabled Population in India as per census 2011 (2016 updated) – In India out of the 121 Cr population, 2.68 Cr persons are disabled which is 2.21% of the total population. Among the disabled population, 56% (1.5 Cr) are males and 44% (1.18 Cr ) are females. Disabilities in children range from mental retardation, cerebral palsy, physical infirmities, seizures, autism, visual and hearing impairments, and multiple disabilities. Hence, it is extremely important to focus on their urgent needs, allowing such children to lead a reputable and a life of equality in society, recognizing their rights.
Sports is the birthright of every child with or without a disability. Disabled children need to play as much as their non-disabled peers; indeed the benefits of physical activity proves to be, far greater for disabled children. Sports help special children understand their bodies better, control their physical and mental balance, and prepare them to accept the moral virtues of sportsmanship and equality. The inherent structure of sports, with its organization and rules, can be used as a learning tool for introducing and practicing self-regulation and decision making skills.
The advantages of sports for the development of disabled children are manifold. It not only helps in the physical development of the child but also helps them in their mental growth. Let us discuss some of the main advantages of sports for disabled kids:
Development in Gross Motor Skills
Children suffering from disabilities find it difficult to perform physical movements properly; which includes movement of large muscles like walking, running, crawling or jumping. However, with various kinds of sports activities, improvements can be seen in muscle strength, coordination, and flexibility leading to better body balance and improved motor skills. Involvement in sports activities has proven in improving stamina, cardiovascular efficiency, and possibly increasing life expectancy. This will eventually lead to decreasing the secondary health complications like obesity, high blood pressure, low HDL and diabetes.
Communicating and Socializing
Disabled children frequently miss out on social activities, impeding their ability to improve their communication skills. Participation in extracurricular and sports activities can help them overcome this obstacle, providing them with the ability to engage in social interactions, make friends and initiate social skills.
As disabled children find it difficult to express their emotions, sports or physical activities act as an outlet to their emotions – helping them cope up with stress, anxiety, and depression. Sports helps enhance mental health by building confidence, self-esteem, and resilience.
The hands-on aspect of sports leads to cognitive skill improvement in children and allow them to discover and access strengths that cannot be challenged in the traditional classroom setting. These children will eventually experience an increase in attention span, on-task behavior, level of correct responding and improvement in academics. Additionally, they can learn verbal communication and interaction with peers through involvement in sports.
It is very important to recognize the rights of differently-abled children. We need to understand the practical difficulties that such students face and accommodate them, letting them participate and compete for sports and games. Sports are vital for the mental and physical development of children. They promote inclusion, minimizes de-conditioning, optimizes physical function, emotional upliftment, and enhances the overall well-being.
Dr. Vandana Sharma
(Director cum Principal)
Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan
(charitable school for children with special needs)
Visit us at www.mbcnschool.org
A-12, Sector-132,Next to Genesis Global School,
E mail – firstname.lastname@example.org