Pudukkottai: Disabled chess player seeks CM's help to play in intl tourney

Pudukkottai: A differently-abled student of Pudukkottai, A. Angappan, one of the five selected to represent India for participating in the World Wheel Chair Chess tournament for the differently-abled to be held at Slovakia in Europe from June 26 to July 7, has hit a roadblock as the State government has declined to bear his travel expenses for the event.

Angappan, suffering a physical deformity from birth with his hip inactive and living with other physical challenges, moves around in a wheel chair and had finished third in the 'wheelchair category' at the National level chess championship for the disabled recently.

He was among the two selected from Tamil Nadu to represent India in the European event, the other player being Ms Jenitha of Tiruchy.

However, Angappan ran into an unwitting entry barrier as the Tamil Nadu government decided to bear the travel expenses of only Ms. Jenitha for the European chess championship for the disabled under the 'wheelchair category' as she stood first at the national event, even as the Pudukkottai lad was asked to fend for himself, says Angappan's chess trainer, Mohammad Ali Jinnah here, under whose tutelage he has been for the last eight years.

Angappan has been nonetheless issued an 'NOC' to participate in the European event, but without the money needed for his travel. This strikes as being odd as Angappan participating in the international event would only add glory to the country, reason Jinnah and the boy's father, Adaikalavan, in a chat with DC on Monday.  

Coming from a humble middle class background with Adaikalavan running a stationary shop in Pudukkottai, the disabled youth does not know where to go to raise the money for travel. Currently doing a C.A. course in Tiruchy and slated to take his exam by May-end, Angappan's father and Mr. Jinnah said he also qualified for travel funds as he had won several laurels in chess events at the district, state and national levels so far.  

Both Mr. Adaikalavan and Mr. Mohamed Ali Jinnah, the chess trainer, appealed to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to help Angappan and his assistant by extending the needed financial assistance for his participation in the international event at Slovakia.

"Even normal persons face several challenges today. A differently-abled wants to achieve at the International Wheel Chair Chess tournament for the differently-abled to be held at Slovakia in Europe. The State Government and other philanthropists should come forward to help Angappan to fulfill his dream," they said in their appeal to Mr. Palaniswami.

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