We are honouring a man who never even heard of Sportability, but this month sees a very special first in the history of the Charity, and he is the unwitting ‘sponsor’.
For the first time ever we will have three events on the same day in different regions of the country not once, but twice, during August. These have been funded by the single largest personal donation we have ever received.
|Satram Chainani lived in Bombay [now known as Mumbai] on the fifth floor of a run-down tenement. As a wheelchair user he was grateful for the use of the rickety lift, but when that was out of order he was marooned at home. We are talking of some seventy year ago in India. There was zero awareness of disability, the word ‘accessibility’ didn’t even exist and his wheelchair was built like a tank!
But this indomitable man lived life to the full. Every summer he would migrate from the noise and bustle of Bombay, travelling over 1,000 kms by rail, a journey of 36 hours, to the rural peace and quiet of Ajmer in Rajasthan. He was literally treated like luggage, manhandled on and off the train by porters and obliged to sit in his ‘tank’ for the entire journey.
But he never waivered and in Ajmer his simple single-story house allowed him the freedom to move around and live as he couldn’t in the big city. He’d spend the summer there shopping and cooking for himself, studying his legal tomes and writing his expert advice.
When we visited, years after his death, the local people still remembered “the man in the carriage” with a sense of awe and pride.Shakun Heard, nee Chainani, is the daughter of Satram. He died the year before Sportability was formed, but Shakun recognises the incredible opportunities that our Charity provides. She feels that her Dad, not a sportsperson but a kindred spirit, would have understood the ethos of Sportability and applauded the attitude.
In memory of her Dad, Shakun made a substantial donation to the Charity and, while every single Sportability event is special, this has provided funds to enable us to extend the reach of our offers. Hence our bulging diary this month.So: 16th August with gliding and BloKart sailing in Gloucester, powered flying in Surrey, gliding in Kent; and 31st August with quadbiking and archery in Surrey, canoeing in Hereford and gliding in Essex are nominated ‘Satram’s Days’.
To those participating spare a thought for the man, who, had he lived in another age, might have been alongside you.
And let’s all give thanks to everyone who donates to Sportability, but a special ‘thank-you’ to Satram’s daughter.
Sincerely from all the Team at Sportability,