Launched under the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav initiative by the Government of India and on the occasion of World Health Day on April 7th, Special Olympics Bharat yesterday successfully concluded the largestNational Health Fest for people with Intellectual Disability (Divyangjan). This initiative offered free health screening of a total of over 90,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities exceeding the target of 75,000 in over 75 cities of India to mark 75 years of India's independence. The screenings were conducted by 7075 clinical volunteers, across 139 locations in 31 States, through an overwhelming support received at th National and local levels by the Government bodies, corporates and communities.
The maximum screenings in any one location were held in the Karnavati University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, where over 7500 athletes were screened across Special Olympics key health screening initiatives. Speaking on the occasion, Additional Director, Karnavati University, Prof. (Dr) Rohan Bhatt said, "We had over 1800 volunteers on ground on the day of the screening including university students, doctors and Masters' students working relentlessly. I am very thankful to them for being able to execute this mammoth task of successfully conducting screenings of over 7500 intellectually disabled athletes here at our premises."
The National program culminated in a grand celebration held at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, which was graced by His excellency Shri Acharya Devvrat and the Hon'ble Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendra Rajnikant Patel. Speaking on the occasion the Chief Minister expressed, "Today has become a special day for Gujarat. This programme is aimed at the health of people with intellectual disabilities and has become a unique and inspirational one on the occasion of World Health Day. This National Health Fest will become an example of healthcare and boost the health of people with intellectual disabilities. It has shown a new path in their lives."
Dr Mallika Nadda, Chairperson, Special Olympics Bharat, read out the message sent by the hon'ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji, especially drafted for Special Olympics Bharat. Expressing her thoughts later, Dr Nadda said, "Special Olympics Bharat has organised a national health fest today which has had a massive impact on the athletes with intellectual Disability. A record 1,00,000 health screenings have been successfully concluded today. I thank Shri Narendra Modi to change the nomenclature from 'Viklang' to 'Divyang' - these athletes are truly close to the divine and working for them is a service towards the progress of mankind."
Also present on the occasion were star Indian Athletes Yogeshwar Dutt and Babita Phogat.
The three intervention areas for health screenings included Special Smiles (Dental), Opening Eyes (Eye examination), and Health Promotion (Preventive & Nutrition), bringing on board several medical organisations and institutions upholding the message of including the SO Bharat Athletes in the advancing health systems of the nation, on the World Health Day.
With this attempt Special Olympics Bharat has made it to the Guinness Book of Records for 'Most people running in place simultaneously (multiple venues), wherein all the athletes did spot jogging for a minute across multiple locations.'
SO Bharat entered the Asia Book of Records for a 'Maximum medical and sports professionals trained online for screening & training people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities that reached a total of 8772, exceeding the target of 7500.'
The World Talent Organisation awarded SO Bharat with largest number of people (Intellectually Impaired/IDD) participated in fitness training program in a week - (multiple locations).