Paralympics swimmer Suyash Jadhav(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
Paralympics swimmer Suyash Jadhav(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Stories of grit and determination

Rising above their disability, these people have conquered every challenge and are such an inspiration
By Kritika Sehgal | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 03, 2020 05:00 PM IST

On International Day of Persons with Disability (December 3), we bring you inspiring stories of people who rose above disabilities and achieved greater heights with positivity and determination.

Suvarna Raj

Para table tennis player, Suvarna Raj, was detected with polio at the age of two.

“Society still needs awareness and sensitisation towards the disabled. Even today people pass comments, they have a mindset issue towards people like me,” she says.

Adding that her husband and friends were constant support, she says, “I have always been passionate towards my sport and nothing has stopped me from achieving my goals. Our society needs more role models in this sector because still there are people who are demotivated by a few comments.”

To people who criticise her, she says, “I have never paid much attention to these negative comments. People always used to tell my parents and my in-laws that I am disabled and how am I supposed to work but I have never felt inferior because of the comments.”

Suvarna Raj, para table tennis player (Photo: Sanjeev Verma/ HT) (Hindustan Times)
Suvarna Raj, para table tennis player (Photo: Sanjeev Verma/ HT) (Hindustan Times)

READ MORE: International Day of Disabled Persons: Bollywood has had a tryst with representation of the specially abled, but are we still missing the mark?

Amir Khan

A dancer by passion and owner of a cyber cafe by profession, Amir Khan has been suffering from polio since the age of three but this has not dampened his spirit for dance. “I have been dancing for six years now. While I was learning Bharatanatyam, I faced a lot of problems but I did not give up because I knew that I wanted to do this,” says Amir.

In his journey of following his passion for dance, he says that his parents have been a constant support. “I grabbed every opportunity that I got. My parents have always been extremely supportive, they never discouraged me or held me from participating in any competitions,” he adds.

Suyash Jadhav

Para swimmer, Suyash Jadhav, got electrocuted when he was 11. He suffered from serious injuries due to which both his arms had to be amputated but that has not held him back from achieving greater heights.

“My motto is- Don’t think about what you don’t have. Instead think about what you have and what you can do with that. If I keep thinking about things that I do not have then I won’t be able to utilise the opportunities that I get in the present. I never had inferiority complex. I have a family background in sports and I also followed my father’s footsteps. Since he was also a national level swimmer, I also wanted to be a swimmer,” he says.

Suyash Jadhav , para swimmer (Photo: Satish Bate / HT) (Hindustan Times)
Suyash Jadhav , para swimmer (Photo: Satish Bate / HT) (Hindustan Times)

Adding that he started practising at a very young age, Jadhav says, “After the accident, my parents were even more motivating. People still think that there is not much competition among the disabled but the fact is that they are tougher. Society still needs to be more accepting of people like us.”

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