The Indians who represented our country at the Paralympics 2016 have all made us extremely proud. These unsung heroes are people who have overcome all odds to follow their passion and bring glory to our nation.With two gold medals, one silver and one bronze, the Paralympians have made India proud at the Rio Paralympic Games 2016. Let’s see who these unsung heroes are:
1. Mariyappan Thangavelu:
Mariyappan Thangavelu met with an accident at the age of five where his right knee was crushed under a speeding bus, leaving him with a lifelong disability. However, he did not let this get in the way of achieving his dreams. He won the gold medal in the men’s T-42 high jump event defeating Sam Grewe of the U.S.A. who was the reigning world champion. Not just this, he donated 30 lakh of his prize money to the government school where he studied.
2. Deepa Malik:
Deepa Malik put her name down in Indian history as the first Indian to win a medal at the Paralympics. She showed her mettle in the F-53 shot put event. Deepa suffered from paralysis in 1999 which led her to lose motion from the waist down. Despite losing the ability to walk, she has several other achievements to her name. She was also the first paraplegic woman to ride a quad bike across nine high altitude passes near Ladakh. She also created another record when she swam one kilometer upstream in the Yamuna river.
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3. Varun Singh Bhati:
Though Mariyappan shone in the men’s high jump event, the Indian Paralympians weren’t content with just this. 22 year old Varun Singh Bhati also secured the bronze medal for India in the same event. Though he was afflicted with polio at a very young age, hard work and determination led him to accompany Mariyappan to the podium for his moment of glory.
4. Devendra Jhajharia:
Devendra Jhajharia had to have his left hand amputated when he was a kid after he got electrocuted while climbing a tree. He never let his disability be a problem for him. This is the second time that he has shown his worth at the Paralympics. In 2004, he won the gold medal in the men’s javelin throw event. In 2016, he repeated this feat and he broke his own world record while doing so. He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2004 and the Padmashri in 2012.
It is very important for us to understand that we should not let our limitations as individuals restrict us from fulfilling our dreams. These heroes are people that we should look up to for courage and inspiration.