In India when you see a person on wheelchair you feel that it's may be by birth or some illness that a person is using a wheelchair. What we don't realize that it could be an accident that changes the life of a normal person and makes them wheelchair bound and we start feeling pity for them.
But when we see few wheelchair users propelling their wheelchairs as fast as possible and striking with each other to gain the possession of rugby ball then that really surprises you and a proud feeling takes over from the sympathy.
That's what "Wheelchair Rugby" game is all about and that goes well with the AIM of ESCIP Trust India (Empowering Spinal-Cord Injured Persons)
Thus aggressive wheelchair sport was first introduced in Delhi in 2007 by Jonathan Sigworth (a Quadriplegic wheelchair users himself), when after his Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) he came back in India to spread awareness on active rehabilitation.
With the AIM to empower "Spinal Cord Injured" persons and to make them more independent, Jonathan along with Vinee Koshi, Raman Singh, Vicky Sigworth and Nikhil Gupta started 'ESCIP Trust' in India. Since then Wheelchair Rugby is a part of regular Active Rehabilitation in ESCIP, New Delhi. That is how more and more wheelchair users from all across the India are getting involved in this game.
The game is gaining popularity as it is the only mixed team game for quadriplegic athletes. This game is very aggressive and involves contact between wheelchairs as it is integral part of game to block and hold opponents but all precautionary measurements are used to prevent any mishaps and serious injuries to players.
Currently there are 50+ Wheelchair Rugby players all over India who are practicing this game for more than 2 years at city level.
Nikhil Gupta, along with his team has successfully conducted several "SCI Awareness" & "Wheelchair Rugby" camps in Delhi\NCR, PRC Mohali, Mumbai and Patna (Bihar).
A four members Wheelchair Rugby Team from India had attended a practice/training tour in South Korea in November'13. That has proved to be a turning point for Wheelchair Rugby in India.
Wheelchair rugby has now turned into the best possible way to make a quadriplegic wheelchair user to become more active and independent on wheelchair as the game involves lot of strength and balance on wheel chair so regular practice has triggered overall improvements in the life of a wheel chair user.
Nikhil Gupta along with Wheelchair Rugby coach 'Adesh Kumar' is now trying to register their Rugby Federation with Paralympic committee so that they can participate in International Wheelchair Rugby Tournaments and to arrange funds for their practice session as till now all practice sessions are self-funded by ESCIP Trust India only.