Devendra Jhajharia Paralympics

‘My Journey To Paralympics Began With A Homemade Wooden Spear’

Devendra Jhajharia, Silver medalist at Tokyo Paralympics javelin event, talks about his struggles and a dream that children will one day carry a javelin than a cricket bat

Neeraj Chopra displayed a fabulous performance at the Tokyo Olympics by winning the first Medal in the field and track events for India and that too a Gold. I am hoping that this will develop the sports culture in the country. In future, children who now mostly carry a cricket bat or ball to the stadium with a dream to play for India, may wield a Javelin on the ground.

India has displayed a fabulous performance in the field and track events. I would like to mention that we have some good talent in the junior category but we still have a long way to go, to research and develop on the sports side so that we can go ahead in this field and win more laurels for the country.

I was eight years old when my left hand accidentally came in contact with a high-power electric wire while climbing a tree in my village in Rajasthan. Doctors had to amputate the arm. It was traumatic for a young child. I was also burnt from many sides and had to stay in hospital for six months. When I was discharged, the doctor said this child will not be able to have a strong physical structure. Going back home with only one arm, I was demoralized. What I would do in a disabled life, I wondered!

The depression kept me inside the four walls of my house for a long time. I internalized the trauma. It was my mother who motivated me to go out and face the world. “Go play with kids outside, you are the same as before, nothing has happened with you,” she kept exhorting me. It worked, I came out of the shell. And it got better with time.

I studied in a government school. With few means to travel then, I daily walked 5 km up and down for my studies. It once struck me that a boy who could walk such a long distance cannot be weak, as the doctor had predicted. I was drawn to sports and wanted to play something to tone up my physique. But in my school we didn’t have badminton, tennis or basketball court; all we had was an ordinary track in which we could run or throw Shot Put, Discus or Javelin.

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I wanted to try Javelin throw but – and I clearly remember it – that I was not allowed to throw the javelin in school, due to my condition. This made me even more determined. I came back home, made a wooden spear, and started to train myself. No doubt the journey that began with a wooden spear to the Paralympic podium is dotted with struggle.

I started from zero… all I had was passion. I was wearing shoes worth ₹200 and Javelin spikes worth ₹200-250 when I won an Olympic medal in 2004. I feel good and immensely proud that I was the first Indian to win two gold medals in Paralympicsfor my country.

The government of today is very dedicated and sincere towards the para athletes, be it at the top schemes or national coaching camps. At present, I feel better. But I have seen a time when the state was oblivious and apathetic to para athletes. I started playing the game in that era.

To all the differently abled people, I want to say that motivate yourself. I know it is easier said than done. Most of us feel disappointed, dejected and demotivated, but I would say whatever field you chose, put in your best, work hard and follow good discipline and it won’t let you down.

I have been playing for the India team for the past 19 years, since 2002 when I won a medal at the international level and now it is 2021. And I carry the same patience and passion for Javelin.

As Told To Mamta Sharma

PM Modi Condoles Buddhadeb Guha’s Demise

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences on the demise of popular Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha and said his writings were multifaceted and displayed great sensitivity to the environment.

The Prime Minister noted that his works were enjoyed across generations.
“Shri Buddhadeb Guha’s writings were multifaceted and displayed great sensitivity to the environment. His works were enjoyed across generations, particularly among youngsters. His passing away is a big loss to the literary world. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” tweeted PM Modi.

Eminent Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha passed away at a private hospital in Kolkata on Sunday night after a cardiac arrest.

Guha, 85 left behind two daughters. Some of his notable works include ‘Madhukari’, ‘Koeler Kachhe’, ‘Sobinoy Nibedon’ and ‘Baba Howa’.

Guha was also popular among children as he was the creator of the fictional character Rijuda and his side-kick Rudra. Most of the works of Guha were dominated by the theme of nature and forest.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar expressed condolences on the demise of Guha.

“Saddened at passing of eminent Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha, author of many notable works such as ‘Madhukari’ (Honey Gatherer). His works of fiction reflected his closeness to nature and forests of eastern India. Pray Almighty to bestow eternal peace on the departed soul,” tweeted Rajbhavan.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also expressed her condolences.

“I am deeply saddened by the demise of the eminent writer Buddhadev Guha. He passed away in Kolkata last night. He was 85 years old. Buddhadev Guha, the prominent author of Bengali literature, had written notable books including Koel, Kojagar, Madhukari, Jangalmahal, Charibeti etc. He is also the creator of two popular fictional characters in Bengali literature – Rivu and Rijuda,” the chief minister’s condolence message stated. (ANI)

42,909 New COVID-19 Infections, Kerala Logs 29,836 Cases

India reported 42,909 new COVID-19 cases and 380 related fatalities in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Health Ministry on Monday.

Here, of the total cases reported in the country, Kerala logged 29,836 fresh cases of this virus yesterday and 75 fatalities. The test positivity rate is at a historic high of 19.67 per cent.
With this, the total death toll in the country touched 4,38,210 including the fresh fatalities. Of the 380 fresh fatalities, 75 deaths were from Kerala, 131 deaths were from Maharashtra, 67 deaths were from Odisha and the rest 107 deaths were reported from the rest of the states.

The total cases in the country are 3,26,95,030 with 3,76,324 active cases. Active cases account for 1.15 per cent of the total cases.

The total recoveries reached 3,19,23,405 wherein 34,763 recoveries were reported in the last 24 hours. Following this, the recovery rate is currently at 97.51 per cent.

Of the 52.01 crore total tests conducted so far, daily positivity rate reported stands at 3.02 per cent. Also, the weekly positivity rate is at 2.41 per cent that is less than 3 per cent for last 66 days.

52,01,46,525 samples have been tested till date wherein 14,19,990 samples were tested yesterday to detect the virus, informed the Indian Council of Medical Research.

As a part of the ongoing vaccination drive, 63.43 crore vaccine doses have been administered till date in the country. India commenced its COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 this year.

Meanwhile, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Sunday that a revised Covid-19 testing strategy is being introduced in the state in the wake of 71 per cent out of total population eligible to be vaccinated taking at least first dose of the vaccine against Coronavirus. (ANI)

Tokyo Paralympics: Abhinav Bindra, Anurag Thakur Hail Devendra and Sundar

Olympics Gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur praised Indian javelin throwers Devendra Jhajharia and Sundar Singh Gurjar for winning silver and bronze respectively in F46 men’s javelin on Monday.

Devendra Jhajharia grabbed Silver with a personal best throw of 64.35 in the final. With this second-place finish, Devendra captured his third medal at Paralympic Games, adding to his Athens 2004 and Rio 2016 gold. Meanwhile, Sundar captured bronze with a season-best throw of 62.58.
“Unbelievable by @DevJhajharia to win his third Paralympic medal, a haul which includes 2 Golds! What a legend! Congratulations also to @SundarSGurjar for winning bronze and inspiring the nation ! #Praise4Para #Tokyo2020,” tweeted Beijing 2008 Olympic gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra.

“3rd #Paralympics medal for our star Devendra! Devendra won Silver in Javelin Throw F46 Final with a Personal Best throw of 64.35m. A huge accomplishment for him as he etches his name in history once again! India is celebrating today! #Praise4Para #Cheer4India #ParaAthletics,” wrote Anurag Thakur.

“Weather Forecast for India MEDAL SHOWERS on #Janmashtami !!! 4th Medal of the day for India ! Sundar’s wins Bronze ! Superb Throw ! * Javelin Throw F46 final with a Season Best throw of 64.01m,” wrote Anurag Thakur.

In the event, Dinesh Priyan Herath Mudiyanselage of Sri Lanka bagged gold in a very comprehensive manner by shattering the World Record with his monstrous throw of 67.79m. Notably, Cuba’s Varona Gonzalez also clinched the continental record.

Sundar went first among the Indian trio in the final as he started with a season-best of 62.58. Devandra had 60.28 while Ajeet had 56.15 on the first attempt.

Devendra did 60.62 in his second attempt before he went past his previous world record once again in the third attempt with a throw of 64.35. But the Sri Lankan athlete Dinesh Priyan Herath Mudiyanselage had completely other plans as he broke the World Record with a sensational 67.79 in his third attempt, improving the previous record by almost four meters. (ANI)

PM Congratulates Paralympian Yogesh Kathuniya On Winning Silver

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Indian discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya on winning a silver medal at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 on Monday.

PM Modi tweeted, “Outstanding performance by Yogesh Kathuniya. Delighted he brings home the Silver medal. His exemplary success will motivate budding athletes. Congrats to him. Wishing him the very best for his future #Paralympics”
Indian discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya on Monday clinched silver after registering his season-best attempt of 44.38 in the men’s F56 final at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics.

Yogesh threw 44.38 in his sixth and final attempt to take up the top spot before Claudiney Batista of Brazil fired 44.57 in his first attempt to dethrone the Indian athlete. (ANI)

President Congratulates Paralympian Shooter Avani Lekhara For Winning Gold

President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Monday congratulated shooter Avani Lekhara for bagging a gold medal in Tokyo Paralympics and said the country is elated by her stellar performance.

“Another daughter of India makes us proud! Congratulations to Avani Lekhara for creating history and becoming the first Indian woman to win a Gold at the Paralympics. India is elated by your stellar performance! Our tricolour flies high at the podium due to your phenomenal feat,” tweeted Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated shooter Avani Lekhara for clinching a gold medal in Tokyo Paralympics and said that it was possible due to her industrious nature and passion for shooting.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister wrote, “Phenomenal performance @AvaniLekhara! Congratulations on winning a hard-earned and well-deserved Gold, made possible due to your industrious nature and passion towards shooting. This is truly a special moment for Indian sports. Best wishes for your future endeavours.”

Indian shooter Avani Lekhara created history by winning the gold medal at Asaka Shooting Range in the women’s R2 — 10m Air Rifle standing SH1 event on Monday.

The 19-year-old became the first woman from India to win a Paralympics gold medal. Avani finished with a Paralympic Record and in-process equalled the World Record with 249.6 points. (ANI)

Narayan Rane: My Arrest ‘An Act Of Revenge’ By Shiv Sena

Union Minister Narayan Rane on Sunday called his brief arrest by Maharashtra police “an act of revenge” by Shiv Sena.

Speaking to ANI, the Union Minister also slammed Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana for its editorial against him and called it a “handbill”.

“Saamana is not a paper, it is a handbill. That paper has no quality, and its editors are not dignified. They are not thoughtful editors,” said Rane when asked about an editorial where Shiv Sena called him “a balloon with a hole” and a “croacking frog”.

Taking about his brief arrest, the Minister said, “the incident that took place in Sangameshwar was done with revenge.”

He added that after his arrest, his “Yan Ashirwad Yatra” received much more support of the general public.

Shiv Sena on Wednesday slammed Union Minister Narayan Rane calling him a “croaking frog” for his alleged “derogatory remarks” against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The editorial of Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana also compared Rane with a “balloon with holes”, which the party said, “no matter how much air is filled in this balloon (by BJP), it will never go up.”

Rane, who was arrested on Tuesday for his alleged derogatory statement against Thackeray was granted bail a few hours later by the local court in Mahad of Raigarh district.

Rane on Monday accused Thackeray of ignorance about the year of India’s independence at an event and said “I would have given (him) a tight slap.”

The Union Minister was arrested in Ratnagiri district after several FIRs were registered against him at many places including Nashik and Pune, based on the complaints filed by Shiv Sena leaders for his remarks against Thackeray. (ANI)

PM Congratulates Paralympian Nishad Kumar For Silver Medal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated para-athlete Nishad Kumar for his silver medal win at the high jump event in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics.

“More joyful news comes from Tokyo! Absolutely delighted that Nishad Kumar wins the Silver medal in Men’s High Jump T47. He is a remarkable athlete with outstanding skills and tenacity. Congratulations to him,” said the Prime Minister.
With a jump of 2.06 meters, Nishad won the silver medal and also created an Asian Record at the event.

Earlier in the day, India’s para table tennis player Bhavina also won silver as she lost the gold medal match to China’s Zhou Ying 3-0 in the women’s singles – Class 4 in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics.

With this silver medal, Bhavina is the first table tennis player ever to win a medal at the Paralympics for India and the second female athlete after PCI chief Deepa Malik to achieve this feat. Deepa had won silver at Rio 2016 in women’s shot put. (ANI)

Child Killed, 3 Injured In Rocket Attack In Kabul

A child has been killed and three people were injured in a massive blast in the capital city of Afghanistan, the local media said on Sunday.

A rocket had landed on a residential building near the Kabul airport, killing a child, Sputnik reported citing the 1TV broadcaster. As per the report, the rocket hit the Khwaja Bughra area of Kabul.
Earlier today, a massive explosion was heard near Kabul airport. This blast occurred merely two days after twin blasts rocked Kabul, which killed nearly 200 people, including 13 US servicemen.

This comes as the US is on the verge of completing its exit from Afghanistan.

US President Joe Biden had on Saturday had said that another terrorist attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport is “highly likely in the next 24-36 hours.” Moreover, US Embassy in Kabul had also issued a security alert for the same.

“Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours,” Biden had said in his statement. (ANI)

China Arrests 60 Tibetans For Keeping Picture Of Dalai Lama

Chinese authorities arrested about 60 Tibetans from Kardze’s Dza Wonpo township, for possessing the pictures of spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Police arrested 19 monks from a local monastery based in Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture along with 40 people whose houses were thoroughly searched by the administration, a Tibetan living in India told RFA.
The move came as Beijing has intensified its campaign against Tibetans by punishing them for the possession of banned photographs that include pictures of Dalai Lama as well.

“Those who were arrested are currently being held at the Sershul county police station,” a source informed.

Following the arrest, the authorities also held a meeting and “the focus of the meeting was to warn people not to keep any pictures of the Dalai Lama or to share any information over their cell phones,” RFA’s source added.

In another recent development, Chinese authorities detained two Tibetan students who ‘opposed’ Beijing’s plan to impose the use of the Chinese language as the only medium of instruction in Tibetan schools.

Earlier, Chinese authorities have also threatened to shut down a Tibetan school if they fail to provide classroom instruction exclusively in Chinese while the government has also announced a ban on private tutoring in a bid to lighten the burden on children and parents.

But around 68 per cent of the tutoring industry in Shanghai is facilitated in the English language, and this could be a major reason behind Beijing’s move, Radio Free Asia reported. (ANI)