The sea remains calm and still at will,
Life prospers up and beneath.
Golden sand deepens shallow thoughts;
Blue skies wipes away pale sorrows.
Salty waves dissolves class divide,
And the mighty sun swallows the mysterious kind.
The wind corrects course of drifting soul,
Escorts muted dreams to the shore.
The silent ocean whispers even to deaf’s,
And the moonlight becomes a paradise for the blind.
One who is willing to spare secluded time,
Beach is a tonic, that shall purify his desolate mind.
Globally, 3rd December is observed as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). The United Nations emphasizes on the rights and development of people with physical and mental disabilities in every discipline of our society. It aims to create awareness regarding persons with limited abilities and has aligned its agenda for 2030 ‘Sustainable Development Goal, which pledges to leave no one behind’.
When we secure the rights of people with disabilities, we move closer to achieving the central promise of the 2030 Agenda – to leave no one behind. – António Guterres, UN Secretary-General
Keeping focus on the idea of ‘Inclusivity’, West Coast Riders, a cycling club in Mumbai initiated a visit to Chowpatty beach Girgaon, along with a group of Visionary Cyclists from the blind association of India. 9 visionary cyclists were accompanied by 25 cyclists from West Coast cycling group to the beach for a guided tour.
The Yacht association of India is hosting a National Regatta Championship from 1st to 7th December 2019 at Chowpatty beach. This is the first time the nationals are being organized at such a high level, with the junior and senior category competing at the same place. Over 300 sailors from 65 teams are participating in the competition.
West Coast cycling group admins had pre-planned this tour for rest of us. Subedar Srikant Chaturvedi, a certified international sailor coach from Indian army briefed us about the sailing competition, participating teams, types of boats, senior and junior championships and talked about the exceptional performances delivered by Indian sailors at international competitions. (Subedar is a Rank in India army allotted to officers with two stars with stripe insignia on the uniform).
Mr. Srikant, was quite liberal in the tour and offered us photo opportunities with professional sailing boats in the background.
Next, we were guided to the wharf where a 6 seater boat was ready for us to ferry around the sea. Everyone took turns in batches and availed a complimentary short boat ride in the calm waters of the Arabian sea.
Earlier in the morning, West Coast Riders and Visionary cyclists completed a 15 km ride on tandem cycles arriving at NCPA. 3 girls from the blind association performed yoga asanas (poses) called ‘Jal Deepa’. (jal means ‘water’ and deepa means ‘light’).
After the yoga session, the riders took a pit stop at Catholic Gymkhana for breakfast before reaching at Girgaon Chowpatty beach for the guided tour.
“When the visually impaired saw the outer world through our eyes, we gradually realized that it was actually them, who are making us see the world, through their eyes of innocence and through the purity of their hearts” – Tasneem Ali, cyclists.
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Few more pictures of the group ride:
Photography credits: Christopher Pereira and Murugan Shobana
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai