WALTHAM, MA—Ever since the first ever World Cup Cricket for the Blind was held in Bangalore in 2012, Cricket for the Blind has been gaining momentum in India and worldwide and is now spreading its wings to the United States. The team behind Cricket for the Blind movement is India-based Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled.
Samarthanam is led by Mahantesh G Kivadasannavar, founder managing trustee of the organization. In the United States, the Samarthanam is expanding and is backed by Boston entrepreneur Subu Kota, founder and CEO of the Boston Group USA, and a team of local volunteers.
Kivadasannavar was recently in the United Stated to promote Cricket for the Blind. He, Kota, local volunteer Sunish Gupta and Kivadasannavar’s teacher Rjaendra sat down with INDIA New England News to discuss the Cricket for the Blind and over all state of the blind and the disabled in India.
To view the video interview, please click here.
The mission of Samarthanam is to empower visually impaired, disabled and underprivileged people through developmental initiatives focusing on educational, social, economic, cultural and technological aspects. Samarthanam envisions to touch at least 100,000 lives by 2020, providing comprehensive solutions to the disabled and underserved communities.
The trust was founded by Kivadasannavar, who lost his vision due to Typhoid when he was 6 months old. But he proved to be a visionary and established Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled along with his schoolmate and good friend S. P Nagesh.
Kivadasannavar completed his primary schooling from Shree Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind and Higher Education from National College, Bangalore. He acquired his Masters Degree and M Phil from University of Bangalore. He started his career as an English lecturer at University Law College, Bangalore. But his inspiration and calling was elsewhere.
Kivadasannavar wanted to ensure all possible support to persons with disabilities by providing education and sports facilities on par with their non disabled peers. He wanted to see persons with disabilities become tax payers and not dole recipients. Thus began the journey of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled.
Ever since its establishment, Samarthanam Trust has been providing education, livelihood facilities, infrastructure, technology and a plethora of other need based support to disabled and underprivileged. He wants to ensure that sufficient opportunities reach each and every person both in academics and sports.
Kivadasannavar serves as the President for Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI). Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel felicitated the national team on winning T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind and said that the Indian government is committed for the promotion of sports in the country. He said his Ministry will consider granting recognition to Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) as the sport federation. Later, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the winning team and complimented the members for their achievement.