Devendra Jhajharia, the man with a golden arm, has made India proud not once but twice and that too by creating new world record every single time he represented India at the Olympics. This Paralympic has achieved what another sportsperson of India could not. We know India has a sorry state when it comes to Olympics but the same country has been made proud by the achievement of extraordinarily genius sportsperson like Devendra Jhajharia. This man who lost his left hand in an accident when he was only eight years old has not let the fatal accident put a break on his dreams. Devendra who could have easily gone into depression for losing one of his arms took the accident as a challenge and has come out with flying colors.
Born in Churu District, Rajasthan, Jhajharia has gone through a lot of pain and problems early on in his life but has never given up on his dreams. By his achievements he has proved that if one is determined and passionate about something, there’s no force in the world which can stop him/her from achieving those dreams. Here are a few interesting facts about Devendra Jhajharia who is the only Indian to win two Gold medals in Paralympic history:
- Devendra had a normal childhood until one day when he met with a fatal accident. Jhajharia was only eight years old when he accidentally touched a live electric cable wire while climbing a tree. Apparently the cable was an 11,000 volts cable which caused grave injury to Devendra, and as a result, the doctors had to get his left hand amputated right away to save his life.
- The accident also left a lot of severe burns on Devendra’s body, and the doctors and his family were doubtful as to whether Devendra would see the light of the day. The prayers of Devendra’s parents were answered as Devendra was out of danger after the amputation. Later on, his parents took great care of Devendra and supported him in all his endeavors. They made all the efforts to make sure that Devendra’s growth did not halt due to the accident that he faced.
- Devendra fell in love with Javelin when he was studying in standard 10. He practiced the sport so hard that he was able to defeat even the non-disabled athletes at district and state level competitions. He also became the district champion in the open category and proved his mettle in front of those who had ridiculed him earlier for his disability.
- Devendra had no clue about Paralympics until he began college and it was RD Singh, recipient of Dronacharya awardee who introduced Devendra to the concept of para-sports in the country. Right from their first meeting, RD Singh has been a constant source of inspiration for Devendra Jhajharia and has taken all the pain to see that his disciple performs his best at the international level.
- Devendra Jhajharia scripted history when he won the Gold Medal in 2004 Paralympics held in Athens. He made the country proud in F46 Javelin category by setting a new world record with a throw of 62.15m. He broke his record when he took the Javelin in his hand in 2016. This time he bettered his performance with a record breaking throw of 63.97m at the Rio Olympic held in Brazil in 2016. This record breaking performance earned him a gold medal making him the only Paralympic in the country to win two consecutive gold medals.
- Devendra Jhajharia also created a new championship record when he won the gold medal at the IPC World Championships 2013 held in Lyon.
- During his early years, he was ignored by the ones who love to portray themselves as people who encourage the development of sporting facility in the country. He was also ignored by the government even though he had proved by his performances that he would make a mark at the international level. As his achievement in the sport became more and more recognized and people started following him as an idol, both the government and private sector came ahead to provide him with the much required financial assistance.
- It is interesting to note here that Jhajharia has also represented India in Club Throw event and has won a silver medal at the IPC World Championships which was held in Doha in 2015.
- Devendra Jhajharia was honored with the Arjuna Award in 2004, and he became the first Para-athlete to be conferred with Padma Shri in 2012. Devendra Jhajharia was also honored with FICCI Para-Sportsperson of the year award in 2014.
- Double Gold Medalist Devendra Jhajharia, who has 14 years of experience in the world of para-sports wants to make a difference in the life of thousands of differently-abled youth by providing them the right guidance and coaching which will enable them to make India proud by winning more accolades for the country.
Devendra Jhajharia has made every Indian proud by his achievements and has proven to the world that it’s not the disability that stops a person from achieving his dreams but the attitude that one has towards life that either makes or breaks one’s life. Let us take a moment to salute to this legend for his extraordinary achievements.