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Changing The Narrative of Indian Sports: IndusInd Bank Launches Sports Vertical

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IndusInd Bank has launched its non-banking sports vertical, ‘IndusInd For Sports’, to make sports an integral, intrinsic and strategic element for both internal and external stakeholders. It will entail year-long engagement activities for customers, employees and the community through its programmes.

As a step forward in that direction, IndusInd for Sports has launched the Para Champions Programme – IndusInd Umang, a platform designed for differently-abled sportspersons. IndusInd Umang – is in association with GoSports Foundation, an independent, professionally-managed and donor-funded organisation focused on promoting sports in India.

15 emerging and elite para athletes have been selected to receive financial scholarships, access to the top sports science and sports medicine experts, in the first year. The GoSports Foundation’s advisory board comprises of sporting icons Abhinav Bindra, Rahul Dravid and Pullela Gopichand, who guide their athlete and sports ecosystem development programmes.

Deepa Malik, 45 years old, an Indian paraplegic swimmer, motorsport enthusiast and a mother of two says, “Our presence and achievements originated with the craving for an identity and the insensitivity from society. There were a lot of doubts and the fear of being a liability. But continuous efforts and hard work have helped me raise my wheelchair in the eyes of the people.

People see me as healthy. We are finally treated with respect and raise our voices when the medals come in, for change.” Deepa was diagnosed with a spinal tumour and became paralysed from the waist down about 12 years ago. Since then she has undergone three spinal tumour surgeries and 183 stitches between her shoulder blades, but none of it has stopped the 45-year-old from taking up challenges.

Two among the many athletes are, Amit Saroha, competing in Discus & Club Throw, a quadriplegic due to compression of the spinal cord. Devendra Jhajharia, competing for Javelin Throw is an Amputee (Left arm) due to accidental electrocution, have already qualified to represent India at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this September.

Romesh Sobti, Managing Director and CEO, IndusInd Bank says, “We need to create an umbrella of sustainability. This initiative is the coming together of like minded people and putting a long awaited dream in a systematic manner.

We have to go beyond just cutting a cheque and be there at the grass-root level to bring a change, along with employee engagement.” This initiative is to provoke the dormant sports person in each of us. To create a trend and change the narrative of Indian sports in civil society.  It is essential for each one to take responsibility and instill the best in each of us.