Curious, I walk into the YMCA Swimming pool area around  7.30am, to see a whole bunch of people huddled in one side of the place. This was my 1st time here, and the pool was quite impressive. Also saw quite a few taking swimming lessons, while few others were showing off jumping in on the diving boards on the other side. 
Why was I there?  It was for this event…. 
Event Inclusive Scuba Diving. 
In collaboration with Adventures Beyond Barrier Foundation.
PwDs: Mobilized by ABBF; Cerebral Palsy beneficiaries from Vidya Sagar, Chennai (
I spotted a friend and walked towards the group that was setting up for the morning event I was there for. The first person I heard was Divyanshu Ganatra. from Adventures Beyond barriers [Pune].. 
His 1st question was “how many of you here wear glasses?”. Whole lot of us raised hands and said we do. He turned and asked towards my direction if it was a disability. I replied in affirmative, cos without my glasses everything is a bit of a blur. 
His next question was “How many of you have had friends/classmates/People around them [not relatives] who had some form of disability?. Again, quite a few raised hands, some shared their stories. 
He then went on to talk about many of us take certain things for granted which is difficult for those with physical disability. We had to get over three steps to get to the swimming pool area which would have proven difficult for those in wheel chairs or crutches.  How true right? We just walk over and don’t think much about the others who cant manoeuvre these.. 
It was then that he disclosed he was completely blind, but was able to do a lot of things thanks to the support available. 
His final question was “Is it possible for me to learn to fly?” Few of us responded with a loud Yes, some said No, one said AR.. He said “no no technology, I fly on my own”.. I again said “yes”. He then asked “How many of you would travel with me if I was flying the plane”. I happily chimed in a big Yes. …. Few seconds later, he disclosed that he was a Certified pilot.. {how cool is that} I was inspired~!! 
From there, the Scuba diving team [of Temple Adventures] headed by Arvind took over..  He gave instructions, tips, and taught the small bunch who were gonna give it a shot some pointers and lessons.. How to breathe under water, how to communicate with hand gestures and so on… It was so cool to watch the level of excitement among the crowd, infact some said they have done scuba diving before.. And here I was hesitant to take my 1st step to learn swimming.. Sigh! 
The next hour was spent watching the folks in wheelchair, the amputees take to the water and do a full lap underwater wearing the oxygen tank on their back with the instructor guiding them along…  It was amazing and heart warming that so many inclusive activities are made possible to these folks, who are no different from us…  This is the 2nd time this event is happening in Chennai, I hope many others join in and make a difference… 
Many a times, we are the ones with a mental block or problem. We look at them differently, and sometimes they are invisible to us. It is time to change our mindset, be more aware of those around us and this extends to brands/businesses as well.. Make sure you have infrastructure that allows every single person to access the space with ease,a ramp, railing, anything!! 

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial