Ashwini Nachappa is one of India’s best known athletes. She was a sprinter and excelled at 200m and 400m. She won a silver medal at the 1990 Asian Track and Field meet as well as the Asian Games in 1990. She represented India at the World championships in Rome in 1987and Toyko in 1991. In 1988 Ashwini competed in the Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. She has been an integral part of the Indian Contingent from 1984 to 1991. In 1989, Ashwini was bestowed the Arjuna Award, India’s highest award for a sportsperson.
Ashwini is deeply concerned about the way sport is being mismanaged in the country. As President of Clean Sports India, a non-profit organisation, President of Bangalore Athletic federation and governing council member of the Sports Authority of India, Ashwini is working towards bringing about systemic change in the country’s sporting environment. Ashwini is also the Vice-President of the Karnataka Athletics Association. Ashwini is a respected voice in media and a much sought after social commentator.
After her successful career, Ashwini Nachappa got involved in social work and education. She is associated with Parikrma Humanity Foundation, an NGO providing top-class English language education the poorest from the slums of Bangalore. She was also associated with the Special Olympics program for 12 years. The program offers year-long sports training to mentally challenged children.
Today, most of Ashwini’s time, though, is devoted to looking at sport totally afresh. She and her husband Datha Karaumbiah feel strongly that sport as a way of life has to be inculcated right from a young age. They feel that sport needs to be part and parcel of the way we educate our children. So, together they manage a school, KALS, (www.kalschool.com) where sport and academia are on par with each other. Located in Coorg on a 28 acre campus, KALS has more than 700 children benefiting from this new approach.
ASF is located on the same campus as KALS. Talented children, who want to pursue sports – Athletics and Hockey, after school are absorbed into the foundation. Already 8 children from the school are ASF athletes and 20 more are being groomed.