The Special Olympics is a unique event hosted every year by District 323 A1 with help of Lions Clubs of Shivaji Park, Dadar. The event is eagerly awaited and celebrated by differently abled children, their families and Lions from across Mumbai. While the event is well received, the man behind the Special Olympics rarely comes to the fore. For 18 years he has been instrumental in organizing the Special Olympics and bringing smiles to hundreds of differently abled children and their families. He is none other than, Lion Krishankant Udheshi - a man who has dedicated his life to celebrating the lives of those differently abled.
It started nineteen years ago, when Lion Krishankant Udheshi and his wife, Lion Damyanty Udheshi, organized a sports event for differently abled children, on the grounds of Shivaji Park, Dadar, with just a handful of participants. After a successful event, Lion Krishankant and Lion Damyanty contemplated the benefits and future of this event and against many odds hosted it again the next year. It was at this event that a young boy whose hand was paralyzed approached Lion Damyanty to show off his first prize to her. His pride of achievement bought so much joy to him that it inspired both, Lion Krishankant and his wife Lion Damyanty to commit themselves to hosting the event year after year.
Today, over 750 students from more than 40 schools in South Mumbai participate in the Special Olympics each year. The event is an opportunity for these children to meet their peers, interact with them and learn valuable life lessons. The challenges of the various sporting activities help to sensitize the community about the needs of differently abled children and create the much required awareness, in a healthy and fun manner.
Working with differently abled children is a passion for Lion Krishankant Udheshi who continues to work with them through the year. His dedication is seen though his work at schools for differently abled children like, Shivaji Park Lions School for Hearing Impaired, Mahim and Shivaji Park Lions School for Hearing Impaired, Wadala, and through the other activities organized by him, like Interstate Cricket for Differently Abled Children, 2006 and hiscontinued effortsto help the underprivileged, amongst the differently abled children with their daily requirements.
Lion Krishankant Udheshiquotes ‘What the body can’t do the spirit makes up for’ he says “Working with these gifted children has brought great happiness and contentment to my life. It has helped me look beyond the obvious and understand people’s needs, even in my day to day dealings. I dedicate the Special Olympics to the memory of my late wife, who supported me in this endeavor and I look forward to continuing my journey with them”.
We salute Lion Krishankant Udheshi – a gallant Lion and humble human being.