“I have always been an avid listener of the radio. Irrespective of where I am, I always have a radio in my pocket. Be it the bathroom or while travelling in a bus” says Mahantesh sir who is the Founding member of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled.

Here is what makes him our special face. He is the president of CABI – Cricket Association for Blind in India. We all know that The Indian Blind Cricket team won 2 world cups. But what we do not know is that he is the visionary who made that achievement a reality.

Mr. Mahentesh lost his sight due to typhoid. However, that did not stop him from being a confident regular school student. Being brought up in a joint family, he had all the love and affection he needed as the eldest son.

“My friends modified rules of our games, just so I could be one among them” he said with a bright smile.

“Though regular schooling was initially okay, I couldn’t continue for long. Hence, I joined Sri Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind. This school gave me a different dimension to life and transformed me as a person” he said.

“The school has a unique system where we have to look after ourselves, which helped me become an independent person. With this we also have to take care of our juniors in their daily life. This helped us inculcate the habit of taking up responsibilities”

“My friend and senior, Mr Nagesh always told me that we should do something for our younger generation of people. We have to let our younger generation of people get facilities what we couldn’t. This led to the birth of Samarthanam Trust in 1997, where we wanted to create a system for the blind people to lead a normal life and not waste time on addressing challenges we faced” he quoted with simplicity.

Cricket Association for the Blind in India was the next venture and we wanted to make India A champion. Though it was headquartered in Delhi, Mahantesh sir and his team took over in 2010. “We have won 4 international championships in the last 50 months and we have never lost a championship till date. The happiest day for me still remains the day when our Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi addressed our victory on twitter and also invited us for a picture of the whole team with him”

“As the president of World Blind Cricket Council and CABI, we want to start An all women cricket team, using cricket as a medium to show that visually impaired humans as equal workforces in today’s life. We also have talks of a certain premiere league which will have financial implications on players”

“we want every disabled person in the country to be tax payers. That way we have our dignity and will only help us lead our lives with more respect”

“Honestly, our real disability is not our physical difference. But the fact that we are not being accepted as normal humans or not being paid at par with our other “physically fit” counter parts. And that is where my efforts are directed”