My son Abdul Lateef, diagnosed with Down Syndrome, is turning nine this March. He started his karate and kick boxing journey somewhere last April’23. And after just 10 months of training, he got a chance to perform, along with his five other autism friends at the Talkatora stadium in New Delhi, where KFI, kick boxing Federation of India held it’s Nationals event. Almost 20 – 22 States participated in the event and 7 States had participated in the musical forum.  But Goa team was the only one which had included eight special needs children namely seven Autism kids :-

  1. Delton Rodrigues, 7 yrs
  2. Neymar Soares, 9 yrs
  3. Deevyansh Bhonsle, 7 yrs
  4. Aaryan Halankar, 8 yrs
  5. Joshua D ’ sa, 9 yrs
  6. Ethan Sebastian, 9 yrs
  7. Divyan Fernandes, 9 yrs

And one down syndrome child

  • Abdul Lateef, 9 yrs

His coach, sir Hussain of CKB Academy Goa, had taken up the challenge of training differently abled children. He was somehow introduced to our inclusive School, Holy Cross Bastora, and he started training few children. And some six months down the road there were six children going to his Academy for regular training. Two more autism children were added to the group.

Sir worked assiduously and the children worked hard. Sir had dreamed a bigger dream for the children, of being able to take them to a bigger platform. So he started. He worked hard to persuade people responsible for organizing events to make a new category for these children. How it all happened is another story, that he might be able to tell better. But sure enough, the KFI granted permission, though sceptical maybe, and allowed our kids a chance to perform at the nationals. This is INCLUSION in practice. They performed kickboxing musical forum in front of :-

  1. Major General, Shri. Dr. G.D. Baxi, Army chief,
  2. Padma Bhushan, Shri. Satpal pahalawan ji,
  3. Maha mantri BJP, Delhi, Shri. Virendra Sachdeva.

After which they participated among the 7 States participating for the musical forum event.

 And what a fabulous job they did. They were awarded gold medal in the category.  We are so proud of them.