The Non-Banking vertical of IndusInd Bank- ‘IndusInd For Sports’ launched the Para Champions Programme – ‘IndusInd Umang’, a first-of-its-kind platform exclusively designed for differently-abled sportspersons. Umang, in association with GoSports Foundation, an independent, professionally-managed and donor-funded organization provided these paralympians a series of well-structured support systems to encourage emerging and elite paraathletes. This is the first time that a cohesive and comprehensive programme and commitment have been put in place for para-athletes by any corporate in the country. In addition to financial scholarships the programme also helped athletes with access to the top sports science and sports medicine experts. The brief introductions of the qualified athletes are as follows:
This is the first time that a cohesive and comprehensive programme and commitment have been put in place for para-athletes by any corporate in the country. In addition to financial scholarships the programme also helped athletes with access to the top sports science and sports medicine experts. The brief introductions of the qualified athletes are as follows:
A Paralympian and an Arjuna Awardee, Amit Saroha suffered a car accident when he was 22, causing him to become a quadriplegic due to compression of the spinal cord. Before his injury, Amit was a national level hockey player. However, his tryst with fame as a sportsperson happened after his injury when he met Jonathan Sigworth, an American wheelchair rugby player on a tour of India to promote para sports. Wheelchair rugby introduced Amit to the world of para sports and he joined Sigworth in promoting wheelchair rugby across India. While playing in a demonstration match of wheelchair rugby with a Brazilian team, he met several para-athletes from across the world and learnt the official Paralympic nomenclature for his injury – F 51. Amit decided to take training in sports which require upper body strength and started competing in throw ball and discus throw; he has not looked back since. In 2013, Amit was honoured with the Arjuna Award by the President of India and today he is not only a sports champion, but also a role model and an inspiration for differently-abled individuals in India. He is one of India’s top medal prospects for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
Growing up in his native village in Rajasthan, Devendra was the victim of an unfortunate accident when he was eight years old. While climbing a tree he accidentally touched a live electric cable and was electrocuted. Despite being given immediate medical attention, the incident resulted in amputation of the left arm, on the suggestions of the doctors. Devendra was spotted by Dronacharya Awardee coach RD Singh in 1997 during a school sports day event. RD Singh encouraged him to take up sport full time and helped guide Devendra on his early sporting endeavours.
He soon moved to college in 2000, and was introduced to the sport of Javelin throw by his current coach Dr. Satyapal Singh. In 2002 Devendra won the gold medal at the FESPIC Games in Korea. He qualified for his first Paralaympic Games in 2004 in Athens, where he went on to set a new world record with a distance of 62.15m, eclipsing the old mark of 59.77m; the throw gave him gold medal at the Paralympics. An Arjuna Award followed his performance in Athens and in 2012 he was also conferred the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award. Having recently won a silver medal at the 2015 World Championship in Doha, Devendra represents one of India’s biggest medal prospects at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.
Following in his father’s footstep (who was a national level swimmer himself), young Suyash started swimming and aspired to fulfill his father’s destiny one day by competing and winning medals at the international stage. Tragedy struck in Class 6, when a routine day of fun and games ended with Suyash suffering serious injuries to his upper limbs after getting accidentally electrocuted by unprotected wiring at a construction site.
Both of Suyash’s arms had to be amputated and he subsequently spent six months in hospital following the incident. Suyash however did not give up on his dreams and his love for swimming. He continued to compete in differently abled competitions domestically and began to show promise. Not long after he started competing and winning medals for India at the international level, fulfilling a childhood dream.
Last year Suyash became the first Indian para swimmer to record the ‘A’ qualifying mark for 2016 Paralympics in Rio. His next aim is to represent and win India’s first Paralympic medal in swimming at Rio 2016.
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