Even as the adulations continue for the Rio Olympics medal winners, here is more to cheer for the sporting community in India. In just one night, the Indian contingent in Paralympics achieved the same feat that their counterparts did over 15 days in Rio.
Paralympics participants Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Singh Bhati bagged the gold and bronze medals respectively in the men’s high jump event on Friday. This is particularly commendable given the fact that both these participants not only battled resource crunch, poverty but also physical disability.
Mariyappan’s mother is a fruit seller in a small place called Periavadamgatti near Salem in Tamil Nadu. Perhaps it would be a understatement to say that he had a difficult childhood. But what needs to be celebrated is his grit and his mother’s resolve to help him achieve his goals. For a boy who was just five years old when he lost his right leg, winning a medal at such a forum was not even part of his wildest imagination. He was playing outside his home when a state transport bus ran over him, crushing his knee and at that point all that mattered was getting their lives back on track.
His fellow jumper, Varun Bhati’s story is no less inspiring. Afflicted by Polio from an early age, he recorded his career best 1.86 m, just short of gold medallist Thangavelu. He took to high jump despite his disability right from his school days and silenced all non-be;ievers with his performance both in sports as well as education.
No wonder sports person from various disciplines are showering praises on them. The biggest lesson that one can learn from them is that when you will yourself, almost nothing is impossible. Even the most unachievable dreams are within reach.