Society termed him as “Weak” and this is how he replied | Story no. 88/101

With a lump in his throat, he went on to describe his life-changing horrific incident. “I was playing with my friends. While playing, I climbed on a tree. I didn’t realise there is an electric wire passing through the branches of the tree and unfortunately, my hand got in contact with that wire which had 11,000 volt current. I was unconscious. When my friends informed my parents, they came and took me home. They thought I was dead while they were taking me back home. Then they took me to a hospital.

Fortunately, god saved me but I had to lose my left hand as it was badly injured after the accident,” Jhajharia said.

“It was a tough period for me but it was much tougher for my parents. They had to take care of me and also listen to taunts from people. People used to say: ‘Abb ye ladka kya karega?(What will this boy do now?),” he added.
“My mother used to get very sad but she never replied to those people. She took a good care of me. I used to play with my friends but the feeling of doing something in life was there in me. People use to call me weak and I wanted to shut their mouths,” Jhajharia said as the tears rolled down his eyes.
“One day, I was sitting in the school playground when I saw a boy throwing a javelin. I asked myself  Devendra, can you do this? I rushed to that boy and requested him if I can also try to throw it once. He agreed. And, I threw the javelin for a longer distance than that boy was throwing. He was surprised and said I should give this sport a try, he said.
Now the problem was to arrange a javelin for practice. After a lot of brainstorming, Jhajharia came across an old man who had harpoon for fishing purpose and he somehow arranged that for him and he managed to practice with it.
“I thought a lot about how to start the game for which javelin was needed. I didn’t want to tell my parents about this. They would have stopped me and people would make fun of me. So I decided to convince that man. He agreed to give me his harpoon and I fixed that on a big stick and made it my javelin. It was heavy and seemed to be of better quality than the normal javelins. This is how is started practicing my favorite sport,” described Jhajharia.
“Honestly, I didn’t want to be called as weak and this stubbornness in me took me to the Olympics,” he said.

Glory again knocked the door of javelin thrower Devendra on Tuesday, when he became the first Indian to clinch two gold medals at the Paralympics after he broke his own world record to secure the top honors at Rio Games.

Devendra, who won his previous gold in the 2004 Athens Games, bettered his own world record in Paralympics to finish on top in the men’s F46 event.
De-briefing of this Story

Devendra Jhajharia is nothing less than an inspiration for athletes. Despite losing his left hand at the age of eight when he accidentally touched a live electric cable of 11000 volts while climbing a tree, Jhajharia has left his disability behind and has gone on to become India’s top para-athlete.
This Story can be used to share the importance of

1- Hard work
2- Determination
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