I flew to Baroda, India for a brief visit with my Indian Exchange student brother Sanjeev Shah and his family. We first met when I lived with his family during my Rotary Exchange program in 1974-75! While in Baroda we arranged to visit a 19 year-old man named Darpan Inani. Darpan is BVI (Blind/Visually-Impaired) and he is well-known in his country after winning the bronze medal in the world blind chess championships in Belgrade, Serbia. He was also recently featured in the Indian-produced documentary, “Algorithms” which won the best of festival award here in Kathmandu at the South Asia Film Festival! TRIFC, in cooperation with the Kathmandu Rotary E-Club and the Nepal Assoc. for the Welfare of the Blind (NAWB) arranged for 81 BVI to attend this screening.
Here’s a link to the movie website: http://www.algorithmsthedocumentary.com
It was a moving experience to meet Darpan and his dedicated mother. I’ve uploaded a video interview which Darpan gave in both English and Hindi. He speaks quite quickly, but I hope you will also be inspired and informed as to the capabilities of someone with a disability. He is currently studying Chartered Accountancy, interning at a local accounting firm.
TRIFC has also been providing chess sets for the BVI as well as for Deaf/Hearing-Impaired students in a number of schools. We believe that chess is the perfect avenue to improving math and strategy skills while playing a fun game. As Darpan said in the interview, Playing chess helps a person to develop “life skills!”