Abilympics (Olympics of Abilities) are vocational skills competitions specifically designed for persons with disabilities to enable them to expose their unique talents. Japan Organization for Employment of the Elderly, Persons with Disabilities and Job Seekers (JEED) has held Abilympics competitions since 1972to enrich lives of persons with disability by training and encouraging them to pursue their utmost potential.
The first Abilympics competition was held in Tokyo in 1981 to commemorate the United Nations’ International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP). Abilympics now takes place every four years, governed under the International Abilympic Federation, Japan, and has been internationally held in Tokyo, Japan (1981); Colombia (1985); Hong Kong (1989); Perth, Australia (1995); Prague, The Czech Republic (2000); New Delhi, India (2003); Shizuoka, Japan (2007); Seoul, South Korea (2011); Bordeaux, France (2016).
NAAI came into existence in May 2001, at the behest of Ministries of Social Justice & Empowerment (MSJE) and Human Resource Development (HRD), Government of India, NAAI was launched basically to organize India’s participation in the 6th Abilympics which were held in New Delhi in 2003 and in the subsequent international competitions. NAAI has since then expanded across India, spreading the Abilympics movement around the country.
The week-long event was held from November 23rd to November 29th 2003, at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, where more than 1500 participants from more than 33 countries, competed in 45 different vocational skill events. The event was inaugurated by the then Hon’able Prime Minister of India Late Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee. The participants and dignitaries were also invited by the then Hon’able President of India Late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to Rashtrapati Bhawan for a brief tete-a-tete with him.
SARTHAK EDUCATIONAL TRUST, a non profit organization, engaged in mainstreaming of Persons with Disability through VOCATIONAL SKILLING AND 20PLACEMENT since 2008, officially was handed over the National Abilympic Association of India. Sarthak is serving its beneficiary groups through 24 centers throughout India.
This remarkable association between NAAI and Sarthak paves the way for more inclusive approach owing to Sarthak’s Pan-India presence and strong support system of wide group of stakeholders (Government Agencies, Corporate Bodies, Civil Societies, and PWDs).