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  • Yukta Chopra

Archana’s Odysseys

If you’ve ever visited Asare, the home run by Archana Trust and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, you are most likely to meet the girl with the warmest smile. Archana is naturally such an enigmatic person.

Archana Jaivittal with her family at the Special Olympics World Championship Dancesport
Archana Jaivittal with her younger brother Akshay (left), mother and father (right)

When you have a conversation with her, she will tell you about her home, show you around Asare, proudly talk about her family, introduce you to her friends and see you off with the most homely hug.

She’s a pragmatic individual, so humble, that it would never occur to you that she’s the same girl that has represented India at the SOAP Regional Games, 2013 and bagged a bronze medal in swimming, or that she won another bronze at the Abu Dhabi World Games in 2019. Archana was honoured with the National Award in the Role Model Category, from the ministry of social justice and empowerment of persons with disabilities, in 2015.

Multiple articles are woven beautifully on how proud of a nation we are with Archana and her inspiring achievements.

Archana wears her confidence. Her amiable nature makes her approachable and admirable to the people at Asare. It’s harmonious, making Asare such a pleasant place to be at.

A couple of years ago, Archana decided that she wanted to learn Bharatanatyam. Originated in Tamil Nadu, Bharatnatyam is a temple dance that has become one of the eight classical dances in India. It is widely known to be a very intricate form of dance; that requires years of deliberate practice. The artist learning the art should be able to pick up on the intricacies of steps, the meaning behind the song, and the dance itself, and deliver it with clarity to his/her audience.

To make a refined Bharatnatyam dancer, you have to dedicate your hours to practice because it’s an art form that requires that kind of time.

Archana has been a devoted practitioner of Bharatnatyam for years now. Her graceful approach to the art form has allowed her to participate in the Special Olympics World Championship 2021 at Graz, Austria.

Archana is the only representative from India in this category. Dancesport was recognised by the Special Olympics in 2019 with categories like solo, duo, couple, and teams within disciplines like performance art, ballroom, street dance, and specialty.

She is going solo but with the support of millions of others watching her from home. Archana has been preparing a 90 seconds performance to go up against

80 other athletes from around the world.

Everyone at home is beyond ecstatic for Archana’s appearance on the television. We can’t stop talking about it and reading about it. So far, more than 12 newspaper articles have been written about Archana’s participation in the Special Olympics World Championship. Articles from Times of India, The Hindu, Indian Educational Diaries, Hello Guwahati, and Exclusive News have been written in support of her.

Whatever the outcome may be, Archana’s hard work and dedication towards making a distinguished dancer is stirring. We wish her all the luck!

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