BENGALURU: Turning over a new leaf is what he did literally. Differently abled T V Subramani (38) has won two gold medals in international events. He is now on a different mission — to green his village. Recently, he won a gold medal in discus throw at the Para International Athletics Championship in Sri Lanka.
Despite a severe handicap in his forelimbs, he has grown and nurtured 67 trees on the roadside so as to provide clear air and a verdant neighbourhood in Rajanukunte.
On a green mission to protect the environment in his village in Yelahanka taluk near Bengaluru, Subramani appeals to the state government to provide one or two acres of land as he plans to develop a forest in the midst of the prevailing urban chaos. He adds, “This is my mission now as the environment has been deteriorating day by day. People should get involved in greening activities otherwise our villages will become unlivable.”
Supported by his friends Murali and Manjunath, who funded the project, it took Subramani more than 6-7 years to plant, regularly water and nurture mango, sampige, neem and other saplings.
Earlier, he had planted 50-60 saplings along water tanks in his native village of Doddatumkuru which benefited the varied bird and animal species along the wetlands in this area.
Lauding the achievements of Subramani, Tree Committee member Vijay Nishanth says, “We were surprised at the amount of work a differently abled person has put in to green the roadside in his village. We have promised to support his green cause and I feel people should come forward to support this cause.”
Till date, Subramani has won two gold medals and one silver medal in international championships in discus throw and javelin. Further, he has earned 64 medals at the national, state and the district level in these and other athletic events. He has also captained both cricket and kabaddi teams. The lack of a left hand and a weakened right limb does not make any difference to his sporting pursuits or green crusade. He takes part wholeheartedly and does his share of work in annual festival events as also in dramas and other cultural events.
However, for international sporting events, the Rajanukunte Gram Panchayat came forward to fund his participation in both Sri Lanka and Nepal. Appreciating the help and support provided by the panchayat, Subramani says, “The GP has been very active in helping poor children in pursuing their education as well as providing funds for my events. Further, I was coached by University player Mahendra in both discus throw and javelin.”
Hoping to spread the green movement across Karnataka, the paralympian says he will now be concentrating only on discus throw and javelin and aiming for more gold medals and fulfill his dream of establishing a forest in his village.
Earning a pittance of Rs 6,000 per month and getting a disabled pension of Rs 1,200 and a bus pass, Subramani says, “I am just SSLC pass and so I work as a helper in a medical store. While working for two hours in a milk dairy unit, they provide me with some rations and other help.” He has a daughter and is trying to educate her.