18 Jul 2023

Madhya Pradesh: Laxmi from SOS Children’s Village Khajurikalan, Bhopal bags Silver at Special Olympics World Games in Berlin

Bhopal: Laxmi, a 21-year-old with hearing disability, intellectual disability, and cerebral palsy, accomplished an extraordinary feat by winning a silver medal at the Special Olympics World Games held in Berlin, representing India as part of the National Basketball Team. Prior to her participation in the Special Olympics, Laxmi represented Madhya Pradesh at the National Championships held in Puducherry in 2022.

Sumanta Kar, Chief Executive Officer at SOS Children's Villages India, expressed immense joy and pride at Laxmi's remarkable achievement. He said, "All of us at SOS Children's Villages India are extremely proud of Laxmi and her incredible accomplishment. Her victory serves as a testament to the nurturing and empowering environment we provide to our children. We wish Laxmi all the best for her future endeavors."

Laxmi discovered a deep passion for sports


Laxmi has been associated with SOS Children's Village Khajurikalan since the age of five. Initially, she faced challenges in expressing herself and communicating her needs, often being reserved and shy. However, over time, Laxmi discovered a deep passion for sports and began to flourish. Recognising her growing interest, SOS Children's Village Khajurikalan gradually introduced her to various sports activities, and Laxmi quickly displayed a natural talent for floorball and basketball. 


Laxmi was determined to pursue basketball

Despite her achievements in floorball, Laxmi was determined to pursue basketball. She dedicated herself to rigorous practice sessions, both at her school and SOS Children's Village Khajurikalan. Countless hours of diligent practice honed her dribbling and shooting abilities. Impressed by her exceptional skills, she was subsequently invited to the National Preparation Camp. In January 2023, she was selected for the Indian Basketball Team participating in the Special Olympics held in Berlin.

Pratibha Shrivastava, Laxmi's trainer at SOS Children's Village Khajurikalan and also the National Trainer for the Special Olympics, praised Laxmi's remarkable ability to absorb instructions and her desire to learn and succeed, qualities that define exceptional athletes. Shrivastava remarked that while Laxmi may be inherently shy, her true self emerges through her spirited engagement with sports, providing a captivating expression of her vibrant spirit.

‘Laxmi is driven by unwavering dedication’

Kajal Chatrasal, the National Basketball coach who accompanied the team to Berlin, stated, "Laxmi embodies the essence of an extraordinary individual driven by unwavering dedication and an unyielding pursuit of success. Her relentless determination played an instrumental role in propelling the team to their silver medal triumph, capturing the hearts of all who witnessed her indomitable spirit during the Special Olympics. We are profoundly proud."

Laxmi overcame challenges and unlocked her full potential

SOS Children's Village Khajurikalan has been instrumental in Laxmi's development, providing her with essential professional coaching and counseling to enhance her skills and maintain her motivation. Laxmi has received unwavering support from psychologists, coaches, SOS mothers, and dedicated caregivers, enabling her to overcome challenges and unlock her full potential.

7 special children from the village have proudly represented India

Since its establishment in 2004, SOS Children's Village Khajurikalan has been committed to the care and well-being of special children without parental support. Currently, 119 special children reside under the loving care of SOS Children's Village Khajurikalan. The organisation strives to nurture the talents of these remarkable individuals, regardless of their vulnerabilities and disabilities, by providing comprehensive training and support. Over the years, seven special children from the village have proudly represented India in various categories, including cycling, football, and more, at the prestigious Special Olympics World Games.

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