In its best-ever haul at the International Abilympics, after many years India has made history by winning 7 medals at the 10th International Abilympics, the global skills competition for persons with disability (PwD’s) held in Metz, France from March 23-26, 2023. The event aimed to create public awareness and nurture the productive talent of persons with disability by providing them opportunities to acquire and enhance their vocational skills to achieve economic independence. The Indian contingent of International Abilympics 2023 was sponsored & supported by Tata Power Trading Company Limited & Powerlink Transmission Ltd., DePwd, Government of India.Team India posing with their medals at 10th International Abilympics held in FranceThe7medals, included one Gold, two Silver, three Bronze and one Excellence award won by the 13-member Indian contingent in various skill-based competitions.Union Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs, Shri. Anurag Thakur met the winners of International Abilympics Competition. The winners were also felicitated by Honble Cabinet Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for their achievement.The International Abilympics is an event that celebrates the skill and achievements of persons with disability. Organized by the France Abilympics association in partnership with WorldSkills France, this major event saw nearly 458 participants from 27 countries. Abilympics, also popular called as Olympics of Skills: a movement of ‘Excellence in Skilling’ comprises of vocational skills competitions, specifically designed for Persons with Disability (PwD), to screen and showcase the best talent in vocational skill categories like IT, Arts & Crafts, Hospitality and Services.The team hailing from every corner of the country like Surat, Mumbai, Jabalpur, Vijayawada, Chennai, Pune, Mysore, Bhavnagar, Gaya and Chandigarh participated in 12 select trades from overall 45 Competitive skill categories, under ICT, Crafts, Hospitality, Services and Industry.The Indian contingent was led by Dr. Jitender Aggarwal, Secretary General National Abilympic Association of India (NAAI) and Founder, Sarthak Educational Trust who shared, “This is a stupendous achievement for India and we are very proud of our 13 participants who showcased remarkable skill and perseverance making INDIA shine big at an international platform like International ABILYMPICS Skills Competition. This win reiterates the fact that the differently-abled community is made up of resilient individuals who are capable of creating positive change in the world. They are also capable of inspiring others to make a difference. Through their work, skills and abilities, they have shown that disability is not a barrier to success. They have proven that everyone has something to offer, and that everyone can make a difference.” INDIA has also been selected as one of the 8 executive Committee Members of INTERNATIONAL ABILYMPICS FEDERATION (IAF) amongst 37 Member Nations.The Gold medal was won by Chetan Pashilkar from Mumbai, Maharashtra who is Hearing Impaired. and represented India in Skill Category – Painting ‘Waste Reuse’. He used the theme “Sustainable development using technology” for his painting.The Silver medal winning participants were Priyanka Dabade from Pune, Maharashtra who represented India in the Skill Category – Embroidery and her Disability is Hearing Impaired, and Kashif Khan from Mumbai (Maharashtra) who represented India in the Skill Category – Patisserie and Confectionery.The Bronze medal winners were Mohith Majety from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, who has Locomotor Disability and represented India in the Skill Category – Photography, Avinash KS from Mysore, Karnataka, who is Hearing Impaired and represented India in the Skill Category – Jewellery Making and Md. Shamim Alam from Gaya, Bihar who has locomotor disability and represented India in the Skill Category – Tailoring.Priyanka Dabade from Pune also won the Medal of Excellence at the 10th International Abilympics for her outstanding work, talent and commitment. In rare moment of appreciation all the 5 judges including the chief judge clapped after Priyanka completed her task. Since 2016, National Abilympic Association of India (NAAI) and Sarthak Educational Trust has been jointly paving the way for more inclusive approach towards the cause of disability inclusivity by working closely with Government Agencies, Corporate Bodies, Civil Societies, and PwDs from rural & urban India.The boot camps & training sessions were conducted across the country and several organizations & corporate joined hands to train the participants. Painting, Embroidery training was conducted at Lady Irwin College, Tailoring & Dress Making was held at ATDC, Gurugram, Poster Designing at SGT University, Gurugram, Bakery at St. Regis Hotel, Mumbai, Restaurant Service in Efcee Sarovar, Bhavnagar and more.Chetan Pashilkar from Mumbai who won the Gold medal shared, “This medal is not mine, but this medal represents wishes & prayers of 1.41 billion Indian. India has made efforts in promoting inclusivity and accessibility in various fields, including education, employment etc.” To support the cause visit www.abilympicsindia.org.