BANGALORE: Para jumping of approximately four feet and cycling competition is something I aspire to do in the near future, however, my dream is fulfilled when I get to participate in the Para Olympics”, says India’s ‘first blade runner’, Major Devendra Pal Singh who holds five half-marathons under his belt.
According to Major Singh, every individual irrespective of his physical condition should make himself active in sports as it is the only field that builds one’s personality and attitude. In addition, Major Devendra Pal Singh, who started a non- profit organisation ‘The Challenging Ones’ through a social networking site to support and encourage physically challenged individuals, now has 70 members who support his cause. On the purpose of starting an NGO, DP Singh quips, “This organization is a platform for people to share and interact about their achievements to others who have lost hopes due to their physical disability”.
“This organization also forms a peer group for imbibing positive attitude and develop individual characteristics, and most importantly to push them forward to sports and additional activities”, he continues.
Stressing on sports, he says, “Well, in order to overcome the thought of being disabled, sports is a good platform to make them mentally and physically strong”.
However, he also rues that “many individuals who have been amputated or who do not have limbs since birth, isolate and corner themselves due to inhibitions which should be overcome”.
For this, he says “The most important aspect of overcoming their problems is ‘mind’ adapting a positive mindset to the current situation or condition that will help in building up quality attitude”.
At the same times, he says that the availability of socket or prosthetic leg is less in India due to lack of funds and if needed should be imported from the United States which could be impossible for the middle class.
Major Devendra Pal Singh, whose latest record covering 21 kilometers in a para marathon in Delhi last year, is a fighter who rose from being declared ‘dead on arrival’ at the hospital during the Kargil war.
Now working for a bank, D P Singh breaks the dawn at five in the morning for approximately one-hour-workouts which eventually increases during any upcoming marathon.
With forty sharpnels embedded in his body, he has now molded himself as a challenger and has been into running half marathons and competing with other participants.