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The story of one-legged Indian badminton champion
The story of one-legged badminton champion Girish Sharma will break your heart
28 July 2015
Beating all odds, differently-abled Indian athletes have never failed to shine at international events. But sadly, the one who's failing our champs is our government. For decades, handicapped athletes have been overlooked, hardly funded and not acknowledged for their merits.
We told you about Virender Singh Aka Goonga Pehelwan before; well, Girish Sharma is another such outstanding sportsman whom the Indian sports authorities decided to ignore despite his world-class merits.
Despite having only one leg, Girish ranks No. 2 (in India) in both singles and doubles categories for physically-challenged athletes.
Girish lost one of his legs in a train accident at the age of two but this didn't deter his love for outdoor sports. By the age of 16, he had decided to be a professional badminton player. After a year of basic badminton training, Girish came to know about handicap national games, and eventually, excelled at competitions winning multiple medals.
He has earned 2 gold medals at the national championship for the physically-challenged. Soon after, he represented India in Israel (winning 2 silver medals in both singles and doubles) and Thailand. His biggest win till date is a gold medal in Paralympics Asia Cup for Disabled.
'I don't need any sympathy' Girish Sharma covers the badminton court with the ease of an aerobics ace. Smashing the shuttlecock in opponent Shrikant Wad's turf, the 21-year-old makes a forceful presence at the badminton academy in Dadoji Kondeo stadium of Thane. A good twenty minutes into the game, and Wad, the chief coach at the academy here, publicly acknowledges his shishya's quick reflexes.
Sharma, however, is focused and determined to score a win-just like any normal youth. However, one thing separates Sharma from his coach Wad and many of us. He has only one leg. The other was amputated after a train ran over Sharma's leg trapped in the tracks when he was merely two. (BCCL)
It was after his silver-medal-win in Bangalore in 2011 when he was to represent India at an international event that he got the shock of his life. Girish was asked to arrange for Rs 1,70,125 to meet his expenditure, including travel, lodging and daily expenses. This expense was to be paid by the state government obviously but was conveniently given a miss.
Also, according to Girish, it's really very hard to get sponsorships by private companies as they think that nobody turns out to see handicaps playing. However, despite all odds, Girish, now 32, is still going hard at what he loves!
source - Economictimes Times
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