Pratishtha: Community outreach event

by Special Olympics Bharat (India)
2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022

Share this post


  • A community outreach event initiated and organised by youth leaders of SO Bharat.
  • Held in parks of New Delhi, the public are invited to participate in sport activities alongside Special Olympics athletes and engage in other activities like dance, art and street plays.
  • Partners engaged include schools, corporates, other non-profit organisations and the government.
  • 4 successful runs of the event have taken place since 2017, spreading the message of inclusion to all.



“In my experiences with Special Olympics Bharat, I realized that a lot of social prejudice against people with disabilities stems from uninformed assumptions. Many people have never interacted with someone with an intellectual disability before and hence form their opinions based on stereotypes. Subsequently, the average Indian citizen does not know about Special Olympics, how well our athletes perform there, and the skill level they exhibit in the competition.

Pratishtha’s goal was to address these two issues in one event. …Pratishtha translated to English means ‘reputation’, or perhaps in our context, how people know us. The concept behind this event is for our athletes and the wider SO community to have the opportunity to create their own reputation in society that can supersede the uninformed preconceptions they have to face today.”

– Tanmay, organiser of inaugural Pratishtha in 2017


  • In 2022, Pratistha engaged over 250 participants, 12 youth leaders, 30 volunteers and 70 athletes.
  • The event raised awareness of Special Olympic and its mission of inclusion, with an increased interest from participants to register with SO Bharat’s programmes.
  • Partners involved also expressed an interest to support other inclusive events.
  • Through the experience of organizing the event, the youth and athletes involved strengthened their leadership skills.

“Pratishtha is a unique experience, a beautiful model emerging from the philosophy of harnessing the youth and using their energy and enthusiasm to carry forward our program to new heights.”

– Air Marshal Denzil Keelor

What we learnt:

  • There’s a lot that youth can do, if given the right space and opportunity! Channelising their energy, enthusiasm, and willingness to work towards social causes into organising a large-scale community event helped us increase volunteer engagement. We’ve seen the growth in the number of volunteers joining Special Olympics Bharat every year through Pratishtha!
  • Everyone deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated for what they do. Providing a space for the athletes to showcase their skills and gain recognition from the general public instils a sense of motivation and happiness in them.
  • Keep in mind the goal of inclusion at every step, from brainstorming to execution.
  • Getting feedback is really important. It helps us understand our pitfalls and take steps to improve.

– Mahi Dheri, youth leader


Video (Pratistha 2018)
Project reports