“Children with special needs are also assets of the society. With proper care, education and training, they can make valuable contribution to national development,” said Shamsuzzaman Arafat, the first “Ironman” of Bangladesh. He was speaking at a press conference before starting for Malaysia to participate in an Ironman competition scheduled for October 26, said a press release.
The Ironman triathlon -- comprising 3.86km swimming, 185km cycling and a 42km marathon run -- is organised by World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). Arafat earned this title twice -- in 2017 and 2019.
The press conference was organised yesterday at Jatiya Press Club, where Limia Dewan from Brac Education Programme and Shahrin Ahsan from Brac Advocacy for Social Change programme were present, among others.
During his stay in Malaysia, Arafat will help Brac establish a fund for children with special needs.
The press release said 40,000 children with special needs are currently studying in Brac schools, and there are 11 educational centres exclusively for them.
Arafat said, “I have visited Brac’s neurodevelopment disability centre at Kapasia in Gazipur, and spent time with 35 children with special needs. I realised we all should contribute to ensure their welfare and development.