NEW DELHI: The launch of a national partnership shared between Special Olympics Bharat and Lions Clubs International was held at the Taj Palace, Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi in the presence of 150 Special Olympics Athletes, Coaches, Family Members, dignitaries from Lions Clubs International, esteemed Govt officials and representatives of Special Olympics Inc and Special Olympics Bharat.
The Mission: Inclusion platform commits to bringing services, and support to over 50,000 individuals, as well as increasing the public visibility of disability inclusion among media outlets. The project also focuses increased efforts in activating, promoting, and solidifying strong community-based participation from Lions Clubs volunteers and Leos- a pivotal measure of success for Mission: Inclusion both in India and worldwide.
As Founder of the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust, and as International Director of Lions Clubs International, Aruna Oswal’s commitment also provides increased opportunities for Lions Clubs volunteers and their youth network, Leos, to serve under marginalized communities throughout the country. The $1M USD (around 6.5 Cr rupees) commitment will create expanded programming over an initial 3-year term.
“Special Olympics athletes all over India, and the world, salute Oswal, and the Lions Clubs International Foundation, for this commitment to celebrate the talents of our athletes,” said Mary Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics, Inc.
“Together, we have a most unique opportunity to bring this population out of the shadows and into the light of their families, neighborhoods, communities, and nation. Through Mission: Inclusion, and under the guidance and support of the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust and Lions Clubs International Foundation, we have the chance to amplify the voice of our athletes, and bring this urgent message to the world.”
“Lions Clubs International Foundation is honored to be partnering with the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust and Special Olympics on this important global issue,” said Chancellor Bob Corlew, Chairman of LCIF. “The need for full social inclusion, particularly for individuals with intellectual disabilities, is critical, and we at Lions Clubs International are committed to bringing service wherever it is needed most, and building stronger communities in the process.”
The launch event was also fortunate to gain the presence of the newly elected International President of Lions Clubs International, Dr. Naresh Aggarwal, a native of Delhi, India, and a long-standing leader in the field of service and community-building throughout India and the world.
“On behalf of Lions Clubs International, we look forward to deepening our ties with Special Olympics across India as part of this multilateral partnership, together with the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust,” said Dr. Aggarwal.