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Only woman in team of blade runners to participate in Mumbai Marathon

Kiran Kanojia will run the Dream Run at the Mumbai Marathon as an inspiration to spread a message 'mobility with disability'

Two years ago, Kiran Kanojia gave chase to a thief who had stolen her luggage at the railway station, and in the process hurt her leg after falling on the tracks. When her left limb was amputated, running a marathon was the last thing on her mind. Yet, two years later she is preparing for one.

Kiran Kanojia, who works in Hyderabad, is the only female blade runner who will participate in the Dream Run tomorrow
Kiran Kanojia, who works in Hyderabad, is the only female blade runner who will participate in the Dream Run tomorrow

Kanojia is the only female blade runner who will participate in the Dream Run of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) on Sunday. The 27-yr-old, who works for Infosys in Hyderabad, started running only five months ago. But, the run wouldn’t be possible without the support she got from Mohan Gandhi, co-founder and the prosthetic consultant at Dakshin Rehabilitation.

Kiran Kanojia (centre), the only female blade runner, with other participants
Kiran Kanojia (centre), the only female blade runner, with other participants

“When I was able-bodied, I never dreamt of running a marathon. Today, with an amputated limb, I plan to run the Mumbai Marathon to spread a message of mobility with disability. I am thankful to Adidas who has come forward and not just supported me, but my whole team of 13 blade runners by providing apparel for them,” Kanojia told MiD DAY from Hyderabad.

27-yr-old Kiran Kanojia, who works for Infosys in Hyderabad, started running only five months ago
27-yr-old Kiran Kanojia, who works for Infosys in Hyderabad, started running only five months ago

“On December 24, 2011, I boarded the Sampark Kranti Express for Faridabad in Haryana, hoping to celebrate my birthday on December 25 with my family. Little did I know that on this day would change my life forever. “A thief snatched my luggage and fled and while chasing him I was thrown on a railway track near Palwal station (near Delhi). I lost not just my luggage, but my left leg as well.

 

It was the railway police who got me admitted to Fortis Hospital, and on the day of my birthday I was operated upon. Life wasn’t easy post the operation. I couldn’t even imagine life without a leg. That’s when some friends recommended that I go to Dakshin Rehab, where I got a blade limb,” she said.

Watching others like her at the centre, she started training to run. “In our country, a person with disability is never given equal treatment. People sympathise with you for being a disabled person. It is post the incident I learnt to overcome the fear of disability and today respect life and enjoy it as if there is no tomorrow,” she said.

She has completed her postgraduation in Computer Application (MCA) “Being an amputee, we need to maintain our weight and running helps me do so. For now, I wish to slowly graduate to running a half marathon and then switch to full marathon. And my ultimate aim is to win a medal for the country at the Paralympics,” added Kanojia.

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