Disability does not stand as an obstacle between man and his aspirations; the journey of Mahantesh G Kivadasannavar, is an example where will and determination ruled over the general norms of disability prevailed in the society.
Mahantesh was born in a farming village of Meginhal in Belagavi district (Karnataka) and lost his vision when he was six months old, after a bout of typhoid that the village doctors couldn’t diagnose. This native boy of Belagavi did not let his sightlessness hamper his vision and aspiration of empowering persons with disabilities and serve the society.
Mahantesh received great support from his family and peers which supported him all through his journey. Mahantesh, being an ardent cricket enthusiast, player and admirer, constantly strived for the development of the game for the blind. Eventually Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) was registered in the year 2010 with a mission to use competitive cricket for making the visually impaired look at life positively, gain confidence and strive to be winners; and enlighten the society on the ability and talent of the players.
Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), is the cricketing arm of Samarthanam Trust, a National Award winning NGO, founded in 1997. CABI was registered to govern cricket tournaments, and handhold aspiring rural blind cricketers in India. It is the apex body organizing and working towards game development of cricket for the blind and is affiliated to World Blind Cricket Ltd (WBC), organizing State, Zonal, and National cricket tournaments in India and abroad.
Indian blind cricket team includes players who have picked the bat at a very young age out of great passion towards cricket. Though they had to face certain setbacks, the players have moved forward bringing laurels to the country, several times. They have treaded the difficult road and achieved many personal successes in cricket. Each player has an inspirational story which would motivate any cricket enthusiast who wishes to pursue cricket for the blind.
Samarthanam takes pride in each and every player and Shekhar Naik, former captain of Indian Blind Cricket team who has been recently conferred Padmashree award by Government of India.
Cricket for the Blind will have a huge impact on the rehabilitation and integration of players into the mainstream. The felicitations received by the team are many and the cash prizes received have provided them with numerous benefits. Several avenues and opportunities for employment opened up, having a direct impact on the visually impaired youth and their immediate families.
Hailing from Belagavi, it is a moment of great pride to state that Mahantesh has been elected as the President of World Blind Cricket Limited (WBC).
Mahantesh along with the victorious Indian blind cricket team will be felicitated at a grand ceremony at Lingaraj College Ground, Belagavi on March 5, 2017 (Sunday) at 5:30 PM under the leadership of Veeresh Kivadasannavar, mentor of Samarthanam Belagavi.
Indian Blind Cricket team who has made the country proud after winning the 2nd T20 World Cup cricket for the Blind, an international tournament participated by 10 countries and played across 12 cities.
The felicitation ceremony is going to be organized amidst many prominent leaders and cricket followers and is a moment of great honor and admiration. John David, Finance Director, World Blind Cricket Limited (WBC) and General Secretary, Cricket Association of the Bind in India will also be a part of the ceremony.
Cricket for the blind was started as an absolute passion by me and Nagesh SP and today, as I witness the heights that cricket has reached makes us absolutely proud. Hailing from a humble background we have greatly strived for the game’s development and today, we feel delighted to be felicitated by our very own Belagavi district. I feel honored to receive the felicitation and it is a great privilege to me. I am glad that my very own people under the leadership of Veeresh Kivadasannavar, has organized the felicitation. I greatly thank my people from Belagavi for recognizing our contribution to blind cricket and feel honored to receive the felicitation at Belagavi. I feel proud that my people from Belagavi have come forward to honor me and the team and I hope we continue our good work for the betterment of cricket.”