Turning disability into strength: Ludhiana’s para athlete gets feted - Hindustan Times
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Turning disability into strength: Ludhiana’s para athlete gets feted

ByAkanksha Attri, Ludhiana
Jan 27, 2024 10:57 PM IST

Tarun Sharma won the state award for para karate and is now gearing up for the North American Para Karate Championship

A paralytic attack at the age of six left Tarun Sharma physically disabled amid financial crisis but, at the same time, introduced him to karate, leading him to win the state award.

Para karate player Tarun Sharma receives the state award at PAU on the occasion of Republic Day in Ludhiana. (HT)
Para karate player Tarun Sharma receives the state award at PAU on the occasion of Republic Day in Ludhiana. (HT)

Now 32, Tarun Sharma is a vegetable vendor in Khanna and depends on loans to cover the expenses to compete internationally. He won the state award for para karate on the occasion of Republic Day and is now gearing up for the North American Para Karate Championship in USA.

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Tarun won a bronze medal at the Asian Para Championship in Malaysia in 2023 and a silver medal in Uzbekistan in 2022. He participated in the World Championship at Ireland in 2019 where he grabbed the third place and won a gold and a bronze medal in kumite and kata techniques in the Hungary Open Karate Championship in 2018. He also triumphed at the Uzbekistan Open Karate Championship in the same year, bringing home two golds.

Tarun suffered a major loss after losing his father, who was his inspiration and a pillar of support to fulfil his dreams.

Disappointed with a lack of financial support from the state government, Tarun said, “I am a graduate and an international karate player with no job or financial assistance from the Punjab government. I personally met CM Bhagwant Mann the previous year in this regard and even approached MLA Tarunpreet Singh Sond, but to no avail.”

Tarun runs a Karate academy in Khanna and has trained more than 1,400 underprivileged girls.

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