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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Paralympics awfully needs boost

23rd September 2012

It has come to light that the Tanzania Paralympics Committee (TPC) is earnestly searching for funds that will help to facilitate the implementation of development programs in primary and secondary schools.

 Indeed, this is nothing new as far as local sport is concerned.

From time to time, various sports bodies on the local sports scene lament that they are short of funds to improve their respective sports.

However, what makes the TPC’s cash-flow crisis particularly poignant is the fact that paralympic sports are largely neglected and forgotten but then are suddenly remembered whenever a major sports event looms large on the horizon.

This sheer indifference reflects extremely badly upon us as a society.

Indeed, it is sad that while other countries strive to create conducive conditions for paralympic sports to flourish, we are in fact doing exactly the opposite.

Bluntly put, this needs to change and there are a few ways in which this positive change for local paralympic sports can be effected.

The authorities could for example, create a national lottery which would help to raise funds for paralympic sports and the sports landscape in general.

But bearing in mind that ours is a country that faces many challenges, funds generated from the national lottery could also be channeled into programs to address problems such as health and education.

 In addition, the corporate sector in Tanzania, should also seriously consider financially supporting paralympic sports as an extension of the activities under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

 After all, business firms like to claim that they take their CSR very seriously and so, helping local paralympians to excel in sports would be one way of living up to this responsibility. Indeed, it would be a worthy, noble cause.

 Nevertheless, above all the afore-mentioned measures, what we need to change most is our downright indifference to the needs of people with disabilities.

This applies not just to sports but to other spheres of life in our country. Once this attitude changes, it is likely that people with disabilities will feel wholly part of society.

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