Dejected by govt’s apathy, disabled bodybuilder scripts his success story

  • Vinay Dhingra, Hindustan Times, Pathankot
  • Updated: Apr 22, 2015 17:54 IST

Sham Singh Shera, disabled bodybuilder from Kila Naun village in Faridkot district, has brought many laurels to the country in general and Punjab in particular by winning several national and international bodybuilding championships, but failed to get the government’s help to continue with his mission of winning more and more medals for the country.

“I have decided never to ask for any favour from the government, as chasing them has started embarrassing him,” said Sham Singh, whose right leg is damaged by polio.

Defying all odds, Sham Singh won ‘Mr Punjab’ (wheelchair) nine times; ‘Mr India’ (wheelchair) nine times; ‘Mr North India’ (wheelchair) four times; beside winning a gold medal in Body Building Championship in Spain in 2011.

His winning streak has not yet broken and on February 12, he won National Bodybuilding Championship (disabled) in Pune.

He attributes his success to his determination and hard work and a US-based multinational company for supporting him financially.

On Sunday, he was in Pathankot to inaugurate a health shop.

The champion, however, is worried about his family, saying after some time due to aging he will not have the same physique. “My family will be left with nothing, except my medals and trophies,” he rued, when asked about his future in this field that needed hefty amount for diet and exercise on high-end machines.

“Due to my poor financial condition, I have missed many opportunities to participate in bodybuilding championship in other countries. I didn’t have funds to get visa and tickets,” he told Hindustan Times.
“My files for financial assistance have been returned by both the chief minister and the deputy CM, who have been spending huge amount on the promotion of kabaddi,” he said.

“People wonder why I am being overlooked by the government even after winning so many medals and awards. They say if the government can provide jobs to many sportspersons, why they can’t help me,” said the champion bodybuilder.

“I will not allow my son to adopt this path, where even after having caliber you have to look up to politicians for help, who hardly care for you,” he rued.

Talking about the upcoming international championship in South Korea, where he is sure of winning a gold medal, Sham Singh said he would try to get visa for the November championship and would compete even if he did not get any help from any quarters.

He, meanwhile, urged the young generation to avoid steroids and spurious proteins to make their body broad, which would have harmful effect on their body at later stage.

He stressed the government should educate the youth about the side effects of synthetic drugs for their healthy life.

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