Special Olympics Bharat, Lions Clubs International Foundation(LCIF) and Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust joined hands for a national partnership and launched Mission Inclusion Bharat which brings service, support and inclusive programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities as part of a multilateral commitment to forge full social inclusion.
The Mission Inclusion Bharat was launched in New Delhi today. The launch function was attended by 150 Special Olympics Athletes, Coaches, Family Members, dignitaries from Lions Clubs International, representatives of Special Olympics Inc and Special Olympics Bharat. The launch highlighted a commitment made by Aruna Oswal, through the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust, to create an expanded inclusive development platform across India to benefit children and adults with intellectual disabilities, their families and their communities.
As founder of the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust, and as International Director of Lions Clubs International, Aruna Oswal extended financial support of USD 1 million as grant. The grant will create expanded programming over an initial 3-year term. Under the national partnership, Special Olympics Bharat, Lions Clubs International and the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust will implement grass-roots programs in the areas of global health, inclusive sports, family education, early childhood development, and much more. In addition, the partnership will position the multilateral partnership to elevate the plight facing this marginalized population to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Nations.
Through the support from the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust, Special Olympics and Lions Clubs International celebrate a renewed focus towards mobilizing volunteers and local communities nationwide to support Special Olympics athletes- both on and off the field of play. As the nation’s largest disability sports federation, Special Olympics Bharat is poised to strengthen the partnership to ensure that life-changing services reach those most in need.
Mary Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics, Inc. Said, “Together, we have a most unique opportunity to bring this population out of the shadows and into the light of their families, neighborhoods, communities, and nation. Through “Mission: Inclusion”, and under the guidance and support of the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust and Lions Clubs International Foundation, we have the chance to amplify the voice of our athletes, and bring this urgent message to the world.”
Naresh Aggarwal, International President, LCIF, “We understand the power of service, and we understand the plight facing this often misunderstood population. As we leave here today, and as we look at the inspiration that comes from these Special Olympics athletes, we recommit ourselves to the simple yet profound creed that has propelled Lions Clubs International for now over 100 years.”
“The launch of Mission Inclusion is historic for this country. It is a moment of change. It is a moment of trendsetting. With the depth of Lions and Oswal Trust commitment to humanity, synerged with Special Olympics – the largest movement in the world for people with intellectual disabilities, this country has stepped on the road to true inclusion. The road is challenging, but achievable for sure,” said Kartikay Saini, Chairman, Special Olympics Bharat.
The Mission Inclusion platform commits to bringing services, and support to over 50,000 individuals, as well as increasing the public visibility of disability inclusion among media outlets. The project also focuses increased efforts in activating, promoting, and solidifying strong community-based participation from Lions Clubs volunteers and Leos- a pivotal measure of success for the Mission, both in India and worldwide.