As part of its annual program, the Koyilandy Palliative Care society of Kerala hosted a Wheelchair Marathon on February 2nd with more than twenty wheelchair users from across the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu participating.
This first-of-its-kind marathon in Kerala garnered huge popularity, encouraging organizers to organize similar events in 2021 as well. Gone are the days when those using wheelchairs were confined to their homes. More and more wheelchair users are now showing a willingness to step outside the comfort of their homes and be a part of the society in various ways.
Based in the Koyilandy town of Kerala, Koyilandy Palliative Care is an NGO that has been hosting annual events for differently-abled people for the last twelve years. Dubbed as 'Qissa' (which translates to 'Story' in English), this year's initiative comprised a three-day event. The Wheelchair Marathon was organized as part of the campus initiative called 'Nest.'
Wheelchair users from Kannur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, and Coimbatore took part in the event. According to Program Convenor Abdur Rahman both the participants, as well as the audience enjoyed the event. "Every year we organize events and this was our 12th year," Rahman said.
Bent on organizing something unique this year, the society decided to host the Wheelchair Marathon. Much to their delight, the idea of organizing a marathon for wheelchair users was well-received, he noted. More importantly, the audience and those participating in the wheelchair marathon had a great time.
The 20 minutes marathon was held for more than 3 kilometers Koyilandy national highway. The event was flagged off by former track and field athlete PT Usha, and Koyilandy Municipal Chairman K Satyan. Manoj Kumar handed over the prizes. A Coimbatore-based wheelchair and para sportsperson was announced the winner of the Wheelchair Marathon.
The convenor of the Wheelchair Marathon Riyas NP described the event as a much-needed initiative that encouraged differently-abled people to come out of their homes.
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