Medical Director for private insurance company
The best thing about adventure is that it invites everyone. Everyone can have his or her own definition of adventure. I believe disability should not impede anyone from dreaming and achieving his or her goals. I am honoured to be the ambassador for this organization which has inclusivity at its heart, supporting individuals with disability succeed in overcoming barriers and ultimately achieve their goals in various adventure activities such as running, tandem cycling, scuba diving, mountaineering and many others.”
Our ambassadors are people with loud, strong, powerful voices in the areas of sport and adventure. With ABBF, they have chosen to lend this voice to spread the message of inclusivity and accessability.
Aparna’s story of running is her story of ABBF, as she discovered her passion for the sport around the same time as she met Divyanshu. Having deep engagement with issues of disaility (she has authored books in Braille and recorded audio books), she felt a gap between existing activities and true inclusion. “Everything was only further reinforcing disability,” she recalls. In the years that followed, she has been an ally at our marathons and participated in the Everest Base Camp trek, grabbing every opportunity to see the world through new lenses.
Founder, Motiv8 Coaching
Having coached athletes of all abilities (beginner as well as advanced) towards various fitness goals like marathons, triathlons, etc, Atul firmly believes that every person, regardless of his/her ability, background or circumstance, should be able to experience and take part in adventure or endurance activities. It is this conviction that brought him to ABBF and keeps him coming back for more
Ultramarathoner, motivational speaker, social/animal activist
Even though Michelle’s association with ABBF has been fairly recent, she is 100% on board with everything the team does. “The idea of helping persons with disability experience things like marathons struck a chord in me and I jumped on board,” she explains. On her list of most enriching life experiences is the first time she acted as a sighted ally, drinking in her running partner’s enthusiasm, exuberance, and joie de vivre. She is here to help bridge the gap between the disabled community and mainstream society.
As a man in the sports business and a sportsman himself, Arvind is convinced about one thing. “Sports is the best platform to bring people together. Whether in terms of physical or mental capabilities, it is all about the positive energy that is spread around.” Having worked with ABBF for over four years, it is this energy that keeps him coming back for more. “All of the activities at ABBF are great opportunities to catalyse interaction,” he sighs off.
Founder, Pune Running
Nikhil’s association with ABBF goes back “wow, a long way…about four years.” A sportsman who loves adventure, he first met Divyasnshu at a marathon. “We were talking before I noticed him holding onto someone,” he recalls. Nikhil believes that inclusion is an obvious goal, given how integral sports is to everyone’s life. “It is the mainstream community that needs an education,” he believes. “Everyone needs to realise that these guys are cool.”
Independent Journalist and Trained Mountaineer
Anusha first met Divyanshu as part of her research for BBC Worldwide’s TV show ‘Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zindagi’ (the show hosted by Amitabh Bachchan featuring Divyanshu) which went on to act as a cornerstone for many things to come. Featuring Divyanshu on the show made it possible for his story to reach out to many people.A trained mountaineer and national-level basketball player herself, the core belief that persons with disability too should be included in mainstream brought her to ABBF. “Sports builds an individual. It is for everyone,” she believes.
The wonder is palpable when Samir speaks of Divyanshu and ABBF. Having met Divyanshu while organising a marathon in 2013, Samir remembers how he never noticed anything different. “Just like much of my friends, I too couldn’t believe it,” he recalls. Today, Samir continues to be associated with all things ABBF because of the undeterred commitment to making dreams come true. “Over the years, I have seen him make running for the visually challenged a reality.”
“Magic always happens when you don’t give up even when you want to. The universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart.” Shalini is confident it was Divyanshu who inspired this one! What started as a phone call is now a strong friendship fuelled by the platform of ABBF. “He believes that one shouldn’t just ‘survive’ a disability but ought to ‘live’ the whole nine yards of life. Of course we had to be friends!” Shalini swears by the power of play, a key value at ABBF. “We bonded by playing as children. Why not now to bring able-bodied individuals and people with disability together?”
Learning and development professional
Nalanda’s association with ABBF goes well past most others. “I have known Divyanshu from our school days,” she chuckles. Through school and then college, she saw his journey up close, soon coming on board to not just run marathons but also aid with fundraising and business strategy. One of the earliest ambassadors of ABBF, Nalanda’s support is set apart in one interesting way. “I knew ABBF before it was ABBF!”