An amputee CRPF officer, awardedthe 'Shaurya Chakra' for a daring operation against Naxals in 2011, is going to be the first blade runner from security forces combating India's internal conflicts to run a marathon scheduled in the national capital later this month.
The young officer, R K Singh, has beaten many odds in his relatively small service of 11 years in the country's largest paramilitary force.
Singh was put into a low medical category and was denied promotion last year because of the amputation of his left leg after he led his troops in an anti-Naxal ambush in Jharkhand's Lohardaga where he encountered blasts triggered by 192 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
The officer, to set the example of being a true soldier, will don a set of blades which are being imported from the United States for him to undertake the first-ever 'Run for Unity' half-marathon hosted by CRPF to honour its martyrs on October 12 in the national capital region.
"I just thought why I should not be participating? Nothing stops me...I have been trained under the best schools of the SPG and NSG. I have been an operations man all my life. Hence, I decided that despite not having a leg I will run the half-marathon for whatever distance I can," Singh told PTI when he was asked about his motivation to participate in this event.
Cricket star Sachin Tendulkar is expected to flag off the event in the presence of other sports achievers like boxer MC Mary Kom and Virendra Sehwag.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), on its part, has quickly sanctioned a loan of about Rs 2.5 lakh for the blades which Singh would be using.
"He is too upright an officer to take the sum as a charity amount. He asked for a loan to procure these blades from the US and we just helped him," a senior CRPF officer said. CRPF Director General Dilip Trivedi said Singh's promotion has recently been cleared by the Union Home Ministry and he has been posted in the headquarter operations unit of the force in Delhi as a Deputy Commandant now.