State-level taekwondo player Harshit Tiwari had only one dream — to represent the country in the World Championships and the Olympics. But an accident changed his life — four years of hospitals and the disabilities the mishap left him with robbed him of that opportunity.
An engineering student from Bhopal, Harshit was on his way for his semester exams in February, 2011 when his bike was hit by a truck. He remained in hospital till 2015 and went through 17 surgeries.
But his dream of donning Indian colours never dissipated. He is now disabled from the lower limbs, which ensured he could never represent India in taekwondo. So he shifted sports and took up shooting instead.
“During the four years on hospital bed, I never felt depressed but I spent the time with my mother Sushma Tiwari in discussing option to fulfil my Olympic dream,” he said.
In 2015 December, he took up the gun for the first time while participating in the All India University Sports Competition. “In the event, I failed to win any medal but while aiming the target, I found aim of my life,” said Harshit.
And with that shift, it seems he has found his true calling.
In January 2016, Harshit joined the Gun for Glory Academy, Pune and in the 10th Dr Karni Singh Memorial Shooting Championship in July, he won the silver medal in the trap event. But better things were still to come.
On October 16, Harshit participated in All India GV Mavlankar Shooting Championship in Bhopal and made a national record in the para clay category, hitting 38 targets out of 50 in two rounds.
Now Harshit is focused on the 2020 Paralympics. “Now, I have only aim in my life — to win a medal for the country. I have made a record of 38 hits, which is just three hits short of the national record in the general category, which stands at 41,” he said.