Helping them overcome disability through adventures

Normally they don’t talk about people living with any kind of disability and adventures in the same sentence. However, Pune-based Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation (ABBF) was born to bring the two together.

It all began with Divyanshu Ganatra lost his eyesight at the age of 19. He spent the next few years training himself in several skills. He tried the IT industry, became a trained clinical psychologist and even became a social entrepreneur. In 2014, he became the first blind Indian to paraglide solo. That’s made him think that there must be other people with disabilities who had an adventurous streak as well.

Thus, was born the idea of ABB Foundation. The nonprofit promotes inclusivity through enabling Persons with Disability and able-bodied individuals to participate in adventure sports together. Subsequently, the organization took up five activities:  Marathons/Running, Trekking/Mountaineering, Tandem Cycling, Paragliding and Scuba Diving.

The ABB team with some blind participants during Pinkathon

“At the very heart of ABBF is the desire to spread the spirit of empathy. Proving that worldviews that see disability as stigma are antiquated, misplaced and belong decidedly in the past,” explains Divyanshu while speaking about his vision of the organization.

The driving force behind the organization’s activities us a philosophy of Nelson Mandela. The philosophy goes: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”

The next big event for ABBF is a tandem cycling expedition with 550 cycles participating. The most special part of this journey was it would be between Manali and Khardunga La, which is the highest motorable road in the world. You could also be a part of this special journey. Also, look up this fundraising campaign and see if you could help out.