Struck by polio and wheelchair ridden, Shweta never let her disability get in the way of her talent.
New Delhi: An iron-willed woman, a para-athlete, mother of two sons and an example of grit and determination — Delhi-born Shweta Sharma has bagged scores of accolades in her kitty. The lioness roared for the first time in 2016 when she entered the 16th National Para-Athletics Champion-ship in Panchkula, Haryana, and won a gold in shot put and a silver in javelin throw (F-54 category). She also bagged a silver (51kg category) at the 15th National Powerlifting Championship in Bengaluru, Karnataka. However, this 31-year-old sportswoman’s life is not just about the glitz.
Struck by polio and wheelchair ridden, Shweta never let her disability get in the way of her talent. Determined to taste success in sports, She got support from her friends to pursue her dream. Inspired by the iconic para-athlete Deepa Malik, Shweta mustered courage to pick up sports as a career.
Speaking candidly, Shweta told the untold to this correspondent. “My disability never became a detrimental factor for me to pursue anything. I had never felt unprivileged and an air of pride always settled in whenever I rolled the chair and made my way in life. But there was a time when I felt dejected and broken... I had nowhere to go and tried till the end to make my marriage work. Fate had something else in store for me. After an unfortunate event, I decided to pull myself up and never cry,” she said.
“That’s the best thing about sports. It never lets you give up. You perform till the end. I knew what I was taking up. It was a big challenge. I had no coach, no background, and no proper chair to practice. But I had the will and with the help of my friends I began watching videos on YouTube and learnt to throw. My friends, who always stood up for me, used to take me to the ground,” she added.
Shweta has no para-athlete trainer and the only training she gets is from a gym instructor near her house. Estranged from her husband, she lives with her ageing parents and her two kids in East Delhi. She aims to participate in international tournaments and make India proud.
She added, “Life has been a struggle. But, that doesn’t mean we stop living. There has been a financial crunch, but I am not giving up. I struggle to keep up with my diet as I need money for it. Recently, I had suffered a shoulder injury and exhausted a lot of money. But now I have started my training once again.”
Being hopeful, Shweta is now back to the ground.