Tuesday, March 1, 2011

World famous rock climber visits Nirmalya Trust

Nirmalya Trust proudly hosted Mr. Philippe Riebere, an internationally renowned professional rock climber from France, at its premises on 26th January 2011.

What made this event even more memorable was the fact that Phillip is not an ordinary climber.

Philippe was born with a polyhandicap which has various malformations, namely, Rubenstein syndrome. He took to rock climbing and has ever since been a part of the parasports scene all over the world. His work for the recognition of the handicapped in society is a personal therapy which enables him not to pay attention to his difference too much.

His organization Handigrimp organizes sports events for challenged persons all over the world. This platform is used to integrate the normal with the challenged.

In December 2010 he was a representative organizer of the first ever paraclimbing World Cup in Japan. He has been travelling for 11 years now. He visits different countries to understand the lives of challenged persons in different cultures.

In this sense, Philippe is not just ‘not ordinary’, he is amazingly extraordinary!

The event started with a short audio-visual session hosted by Philippe wherein a short film was screened. This film described Philippe’s journey and transformation through the years. The session was then open for any questions the audience might have. This was followed by a rock climbing demo on an artificial climbing wall constructed for this event. Physically challenged persons and all visitors got a chance to try out climbing on this wall under the guidance of Philippe. This was very well received by all; youngsters as well as adults present there were equally enthusiastic and enjoyed the climbing experience.

Amongst those present at the function were young students and children from various charitable organizations. One special group was that of children affected with HIV from the Suryodaya Foundation. Physically challenged persons from Nirmalya Trust which included the visually impaired, hearing impaired, paraplegic, spastic and orthopaedically challenged, also grabbed this opportunity and successfully made it to the top of the wall. Watching them achieve this was highly inspiring and motivating.

Another interesting factor was that, Philippe, in some way or the other, disabled few 'normal' persons who wished to climb the wall and then asked them to climb. For instance, one of their legs was tied or they were blindfolded. Normal persons put themselves in the shoes of the challenged to get a real feel of their experience.

It was amazing to see how each of us has it in us to overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties and eventually reach the top!

Philippe had to leave and start back to Mumbai. Before he left however, he had several fans waiting to get his autograph!

Philippe's story is one of hard work, endurance, and persistence in the face of difficulties. It is a story that can inspire people from all walks of life, just as it inspired all of us!

IBN Lokmat covered the full event. Here is the link to the video on YouTube:

Nirmalya Trust - Philippe Ribiere in Pune


  1. meena,

    U are just fantastic, a role model for the physically impaired and also for able bodied persons.

    God Bless

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