India among six countries to get grant of USD 25m for school programme: Special Olympics Bharat

India will be among six countries to benefit from a USD 25 million grant commissioned by the UAE under the Unified Champion School worldwide programme with an aim to empower intellectually disabled children, the Special Olympics Bharat announced on Wednesday.

Special Olympics Bharat founder Air Marshall Denzil Keelor announced the grant made for the programme by the Crown Prince of the UAE, which will also benefit his organisation.

“The Crown Prince (of the UAE) has granted USD 25m for the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools programme worldwide which will be used in six countries, including India. This 4-year programme will help build an inclusive society,” he said.

Besides India, the grant will also support Unified Champion School programme in Argentina, Egypt, Rwanda, Romania and Pakistan.

Ambassador of the UAE to India, Ahmed Al Banna said the Unified Champions School programme was aimed at promoting social inclusion in the society by bringing system-wide changes.

“The people having intellectual disability are called people of determination. The programme is aimed at bringing improvement in the lives of people of determination. It will help in the global expanson of inclusive education projects led by Special Olympics organisations of the respective countries,” he said.

He said there are 5 million athletes, 1 million coaches and 100,000 volunteers associated with Special Olympics.

Special Olympics is the sports organisation for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities, providing year-round training and activities to 5 million participants and Unified Sports partners in 172 countries.

The Special Olympics World Summer Games and World Winter Games are the showpiece events. The UAE hosted the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2019, where more than 7000 athletes from 190 countries competed in 24 sports.