Special Olympics Summer Games 2019, Player Profile: Abhishek
Abhishek, 18 years, visits a gym every day from 11AM to 3PM. This is followed by continuous cycling from 4:30 PM to 8 PM around the city of Guwahati.
He wants to build up his stamina and notch up his physical endurance to “win a Gold for India’” at the Abu Dhabi Games 2019.
Abhishek’s Coach, Lakhan, who is currently mentoring him for the World Games is located in a different state (Jharkhand) Abhishek’s mother reports his progress and seeks guidance from Lakhan regularly, submitting his videos from time to time.
He is cheerful, standing tall at 6 ft with a tattoo on his right arm that says ‘Maahi’ (translating to ‘Masi’ mother’s sister) Abhishek was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy after jaundice effected his brain few days following his birth.
His parents helplessly observed delayed milestones in the development of their son. Abhishek walked at age 3 developing unclear speech. However, both his parents took intensive care, walking him for Physiotherapy sessions and making him join an Inclusive school.
He joined SO Bharat in 2008. Around then tragically, his father lost his battle with cancer, leaving his then pregnant mother to manoeuvre through life’s trials & tribulations.
Abhishek has a nine year old sister. He often goes to get her from her school. So close is their bonding that at time his mother needs her daughter to interpret what Abhishek is saying to her. His mother works in a day care centre and they stay with their mother’s sister who he is very fond of.
Abhishek has played Cricket and shotput. He has participated in Shot put at a National level Camp held in Rajasthan. His mother recalls how two boys (Varun Pradhan and Adrian Pradhan) in their neighbourhood pressed her into widening her perspective and think of sports and recreational activities to engage Abhishek in.
“They told me that don’t restrict his life to coming and going to school. There is much more for him. So what if he is special. We will play Cricket with him.”
Although they have moved on as required by their jobs, they still remain friends.
“Because of Special Olympics today I see a different Abhishek. This is because of so many people who he has met as part of his journey through Special Olympics. His participation across the camps made him visible and the bicycle mayor of Guwahati got in touch and supported him with a bicycle through crowd funding. With constant sporting activity he remains active. He loves himself," says his mother, Barnali Gogoi
If Abhishek does not express himself clearly through speech, he expresses through things he loves to do. He cooks, he likes to keep the house clean and loves to be with people. He practises designing on the computer, video editing.
According to his mother this streak comes from his late father who was in film production. His father was a producer/director at the Guwahati Doordarshan Kendra.
However, Abhishek has not been successful in taking up video editing in the city, largely due to non-acceptance by people. But his dream is to travel to Mumbai (Maharashtra) and do video-editing there!
Abhishek is so positive, and this is what he has gained from Special Olympics. His journey through life would have otherwise started and finished in this house only, says his mother.