Activist pins hope on Dhoni for blind cricket recognition

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Kolkata, June 26 (IANS) With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) yet to recognise blind cricket in India, renowned blind activist and founding chairman of the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC) George Abraham, is now pinning hopes on Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Abraham, who also founded the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), which manages the game in the country, is aghast at the BCCI and government apathy towards the Indian team that won the inaugural T20 Blind Cricket World Cup in 2012.

"So far, our relentless fight for BCCI's recognition has not yielded any result. Besides being a great cricketer who has won many a laurel for the country, Dhoni is immensely respected. We hope he can give impetus to our fight," Abraham told IANS on the sidelines of a programme here Thursday.

In the city to promote Nazar Ya Nazariya (Sight or Mindset), an inspirational TV series on visually impaired achievers, Abraham expressed his anguish over the government and the BCCI apathy towards blind cricket.

"People are spending millions on cricketers but when it comes to promoting blind cricket, they grow cold feet. As far as I know, India's is the only board that has still not given recognition," said Abraham.

He now runs SCORE Foundation - a non-profit organisation for the people living with impairment of sight and low vision.

Interacting with school children at the event organised by the Civilian Welfare Foundation (CWF), Abraham said it is the mindset which matters to most to overcome an obstacle.

"It's not nazar (sight), rather what matters is the nazariya (mindset). There is an achiever in everybody. You just need the mindset, the determination to bring that out. The mindset of those who determine the policies also needs to be changed," he said.

"It's a pity that differently-abled people are either never taken into consideration or are considered to be liabilities. It's time that mindset is changed and we are considered as resources," said Abraham, who was chosen to run in the Torch Relay in for Atlanta Olympic Games.