Girish Sharma: The inspiration


Blog by: Raj Kishan

We expect life to throw lemons at us, because we have planned to make lemonade, but what if your lemonade plans are hindered by life, because it throws stones at you? What would you rather do, stop? Or find a way around it!

“Jump! And you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fly.” Courage is what we need! Here is someone who would encourage you to jump and try to extend your wings and motivate you to fly.

Girish Sharma, the great badminton player is an inspiration to millions of people in India and around the world; 2 gold medals at The National championship for the physically-challenged, representing India in Israel and winning 2 silver medals in both singles and doubles, represented India in Thailand, and to top all of this , gold medal at Paralympics Asia Cup. The feats sound impressive already, right? Wait till you hear the story.

Girish Sharma, now 32 years of age, lost his right leg in a train accident when he was at the tender age of two! While other people might sunk into depression, this champion, never stopped believing in his dreams. The champ had always wanted to serve his nation as an army man, and make India proud. Unfortunately, considering his hurdles, the disability, that dream became rather unreachable. But the victors don’t stop at that. Never! And being the winner, that he is, Girish, simply found and took another route to achieve his dream.

Born in Rajkot to an Indian Railway employee, Sharma has from a very young age loved outdoor sports and has always been athletic. His brother- a football player- accompanied him to a sports club, where he fell in love with badminton. When he turned 16, he decided that he wanted to play the sport professionally. He got under a training program and then underwent basic training of the sport after which he learned of the physically challenged national games.

The second ranked, in both singles and doubles, champion player, Girish, understandably, had to face a lot of difficulties, as a child it is especially hard, but his mental strength and spirit never wavered.
He says, “When I was a child, I used to play Cricket, Football, and Badminton with normal children of my age. My disability was nowhere near in my mind. I enjoyed those games as much as a normal person does.” Such spirit!

Success does not come easy and Girish knows that. The champ, trains 6 hours a day, he has got one strong leg that he just doesn’t play standing but he moves around the court continuously hit the shuttlecock. Among the many difficulties, financial aspects are the main hindrances, it takes him about 80k to 90k to participate in competitions and neither the government nor the sponsors support him. He has first hand witnessed how other countries treat their players and expects our government to help him too. And for sponsors he says that it isn’t really easy, Girish says “When I meet companies and ask for their sponsorship for my trip, first thing that ask me is that who watch your sports? Now, this is truly insulting one.”

The hardship has taken a toll on him, but winners never quit! Girish does not want to stop at just stop at medals he wants to improve the sports reforms, especially for the physically challenged. He wants to disabled sports quota, to this end and help the aspiring sportsmen.

Girish is an example for us lazy youngsters! Let’s wake up and jump and try to fly.