Promoting Independence through Wheelchair Basketball

Bangladesh has an estimated 16 million person with disabilities persons, accounting for 10% of the country’s population.  In 2004, the prevalence of disability was approximately 6% among those under the age of 18 and approximately 14% among those over the age of 18.  People with disabilities in Bangladesh have a right to government assistance, however programs have been limited in scope and limited to urban areas, and the issue of disability has not been integrated into general development programs.

 According to the World Bank, there were 13.6 million individuals with disabilities in Bangladesh in 2004, including 3.4 million children and 10.2 million adults (“Disability in Bangladesh”, 2004). These figures must have skyrocketed in 2023. There are several educational, medical, and rehabilitative organizations and government facilities, but none that provide sporting facilities.

Persons with impairments frequently confront societal impediments, and in many communities, disability elicits unfavorable judgements and prejudice.  Persons with disabilities are typically excluded from education, employment, and communal life as a result of the stigma associated with disability, depriving them of opportunities critical to their social development, health, and well-being. Persons with disabilities are typically considered reliant and unable in various societies, promoting lethargy and causing individuals with physical disabilities to feel limited mobility beyond the cause of their affliction.

Sport can help lessen the stigma and discrimination associated with disability by changing community attitudes towards people with disabilities by emphasizing their abilities and decreasing the inclination to view the disability rather than the person. People with disabilities can participate in sports. Disabilities connect well with people with disabilities, forcing them to rethink their ideas about what people with disabilities can and cannot do.

Sports for Hope and Independence (SHI) believe sports is the best gateway to integrate and reintegrate the person with disabilities in the society. It empowers people in way that it overshadowed the expectation to them. Wheelchair Basketball inspire people to push their limits and become part of sporting community.  SHI in Collaboration International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Bangladesh conducted two weeks wheelchair basketball camp to empower person with physical disabilities.

Sohed Islam Said “I am a victim of road traffic accident which resulted Spinal Cord injury. I am a full-time wheelchair user; my life will be limited inside the house. But after joining the Wheelchair Basketball camp I found that I can do many things on own. I am having best time of my wheelchair life. I am learning new skills every day, making friends, have fun and challenges them to do tasks. “

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