SHIVAMOGGA: On Sunday, Jayashree was a proud mother. Her son, para-shuttler Suhas Yathiraj, secured the silver medal in the men’s singles SL4 class. As the feeling sunk in, she dialed her son, just to hear his voice and bless him. Yathiraj asked his mother, “Amma nanu hege adide? Gold barubahuditteno!”
(How did I play, mother? I might have won gold!). The mood in the entire Yathiraj clan was understandable as other members of the family lined up to congratulate Karnataka-born Suhas, who has impairment in one of his ankles.
“We are all happy with his excellent performance and Suhas’s dream of playing at Paralympics came true. We thought he could win gold. Anyway, he has brought laurels to India. We are happy that Prime Minister Modi spoke to him,” Jayashree said of Suhas, who is the district magistrate at Gautam Buddh Nagar in Noida.
What makes the achievement even more special is the way he allocated time for both his administrative duties and badminton in Noida. With Covid hitting India hard, his life was even more difficult as he had to manage the fight against the pandemic. After taking care of his duties as district magistrate, he practised regularly at night.
He started excelling in the sport after taking it up professionally in 2016. He clinched his first major gold medal at the Asian Championship in the same year in China. Thereon, he began to improve further and deliver at big meets, and his silver in Tokyo is his biggest highlight yet.
Suhas was an ideal student, says teacher
In fact, Suhas is always known to be a hard worker. In 2007, he took up a job in Bengaluru, and also studied for the civil services examination. Suhas, born in Hassan, did a major part of his schooling at Shivamogga and PUC at DVS Independent PU College.
He completed his computer science engineering from NITK, Suratkal . HC Umesh, the lecturer of DVS Independent PU College, is proud of his achievement in both fields. “He was an ideal student. He became serious about the UPSC examination after completing his engineering.
He is emotionally attached to the college. When he visited last year, he brought his wife and daughter to show the college where he did his PUC. We are proud of his achievement both in UPSC as well as in sports,” Umesh said.