For the third time since the beginning of the Special Olympics, the Special Olympics Torch, “Flame of Hope” has arrived in India. The Flame of Hope after travelling from Singapore to Delhi, reached New Delhi. The minister of state (I/c) for youth affairs and sports Shri KirenRijiju officially received the torch from Dr. Amar Prasad Reddy, the Chairman of the Special Olympics International Football Championship (SOIFC) 2019, in the presence of other dignitaries and 20 athletes from Special Olympics Bharat. Shri KirenRijiju along with several Indian Special Athletes, lit the ‘Flame of Hope’ then handed it over to Indian Special Olympics Athlete and Air Marshall DenzilKeelor (Retd.)CEO,Special Olympics Bharat. The Flame of Hope symbolises courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe. Lighting it signals a call to action, to promote inclusion of the intellectually differently abled amongst society and to celebrate their unique abilities.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Rijiju said ” For human beings, life is incomplete without sports. Why should a section of the society be left behind. These special athletes have joy and Josh in their eyes. The government and the sports ministry will fully support the special Olympics and international football championships in Chennai.”. Wishing the athletes very best, the minister said that in the last special summer Olympics in Abu Dhabi, Indian contingent win maximum number of medals, which reflects their energy and motivation level. He announced cash prize for winners of Abu Dhabi games.
The SOIFC 2019 is an initiative of Special Olympics, an international organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities.