“If you wait till you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you will end up not doing nothing for nobody,” says 25-year-old Jagwinder Singh, a cyclist and art teacher. However, he is no ordinary man. What makes him extraordinary is his will to extract the best meaning out of these inspiring words of motivational speaker Malcolm Bane. You see, Jagwinder was born without arms.
As a cyclist, he has pocketed numerous medals on state and national-level platforms. But Jagwinder’s desire to pay back to society saw him teaching art and imparting general knowledge to slum children at the Dairy Complex on Hambran Road on Monday.
Born in Patran village in Patiala district, Jagwinder’s favourite cyclist is Canadian Joseph Veloce. So, what challenge will he take up next?
“Winning a gold medal in the Tokyo Paralympics is my next goal. I am practising over 25km daily and will keep pushing to perform better,” says the spirited athlete.
He describes his tryst with art. “Despite a diploma in art, I ran from pillar to post because no school or institution was ready to take me in. A distraught perception led people to not accept me easily. But with the concerted efforts of my parents, I kept pushing to command self-respect,” says Jagwinder.
Jagwinder is teaching art at Nanaksar Academy in Patiala. He says, “Despite seven decades of freedom, illiteracy is rampant in our country. My top priority is to impart education to those who are deprived, to widen their horizons and to discipline them.” Jagwinder stands tall against all adversities. How, you ask him? He says, “I never let society bog me down and my experiences tell me that time is the best teacher.”