The citizens of Mumbai were treated to an inspiring display of courage and fortitude when the physically challenged took part in the Standard Chartered Mumbai marathon. Despite their physical constraints, participants belonging to the Champions with Disability (CWD) category took to the streets with gusto on Sunday. While all the participants completed the 2.4-km race, their independence and determination inspired several citizens to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Take, for instance, eight members of the Paraplegic Rehab Centre in Pune, who are former personnel of the Indian defence forces. These people were brave enough to resume with their active lives despite being left wheelchair bound while protecting the nation. One such individual, Nirvasdur Bahadur Burumg (58), says that though he sustained spinal cord injuries in 1983 that left him confined to a wheelchair, it didn’t deter him from winning several medals in discus throw and shot put between 2002 and 2006 in the Paralympics.
Nirvasdur Bahdur Burumg (second from left, in wheelchair), along with seven other members of the Paraplegic Rehab Centre in Pune, completed the Champions With Disability race
“I joined the army in 1978. While going for my training session in a car loaded with ammunition, we were ambushed by the enemies. Though we were lucky enough to survive, as our vehicle didn’t catch fire, I was left with a spinal cord injury and had to use a wheelchair since then,” said Burumg. However, the incident that took place in Pathankot, Punjab, did not stop him from living his life to the fullest. “I’ve been taking part in marathons since 1989 in Pune, where I reside, but this is my first time in the Standard Chartered Mumbai marathon. It always feels good to tell others with disabilities not to let their disability get in the way of their lives,” he added.
Five-year-old Harish Chandra, who lost an arm and a leg, completed the 2.4-km long race. Harish lost his limbs after he came in touch with a live wire while playing on his terrace
Another young participant who completed the CWD marathon, Harish Chandra (5), was all smiles following the event. The young boy lost his left arm and right leg a year ago while playing on the terrace. “He came in contact with a live wire on his terrace while playing. Due to the nerve damage, his limbs had to be amputated,” said his relative. However, the boy ran the entire 2.4 km and proudly informed his loved ones about his achievement.