For the past five years Simran Sahni, a Youth Leader from Special Olympics Bharat, has been on the front lines of the inclusion revolution. In 2017, she served as a Youth Activation Intern for Special Olympics Bharat where she led inclusive trainings to create schools and communities of inclusion in 16 states across India.
Simran also supported the training and transition of leaders on the Special Olympics Bharat National Youth Activation Committee. Their aim was to create a sustainable future for youth development. In 2018, she organized the first National Youth Summit for Special Olympics Bharat. At this event, over 250 participants joined together to learn about intellectual disabilities and Special Olympics programming.
Simran adopts creative approaches in her work with Special Olympics. She has used technology as a platform to connect with other young people in India and across the Asia Pacific Region.
In 2018, Simran led a Youth Innovation Project with her friend, Shrey Kadian. As a Unified pair, they met with young people in mainstream schools and Special Education schools. They talked to them about Special Olympics inclusive programming and offered opportunities for them to play Unified Sports.
“Working with Shrey has helped me realize that true inclusion and growth occurs when we help each other develop. We should consider everyone’s point of view and not just our own. I’m committed to transforming this society into not just an integrated one, but an inclusive one.”
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Simran represented Special Olympics Asia Pacific in a UNFPA x Prezi video campaign #YouthAgainstCovid19. She volunteered to record an informative session called “How Young People Are Affected by COVID-19” to encourage the consideration of young people with intellectual disabilities in the fight against the pandemic.
Next week, Simran will join the Special Olympics Virtual Global Youth Leadership Summit alongside over 600 participants. From 20 – 21 May, young people across the globe will receive the training and tools needed to become leaders for inclusion in their schools and communities. These Youth Leaders will be empowered to build connections and break down barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Simran said, “I am extremely excited for the Youth Summit as I will get to interact with a lot of young minds and get to learn from them and share with them. I want us to build an inclusive generation.”