For Ram Karan Singh, an Arjuna Award winner in athletics, going for the Asian Games trial in April now looks like a far-fetched dream. The 23-year-old, who was partially visually challenged, lost his eyesight completely after he was injured in the police action on Thursday. The police ‘highhandedness’ took place during a protest against issuance of an ordinance on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill.
The activists of Persons with Disabilities, who were a part of All India Disabilities Alliance, were protesting outside Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's residence when the police used force to evict them. They wanted to meet Mr. Gandhi and convey their message to the President requesting him not to sign the ordinance on Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill as is being planned by the UPA government.
“Earlier in the day, my friends were protesting against the Bill at the All India Congress Committee office. In the evening, I got to know they were lathi-charged; some of my visually challenged friends and I went to support them. We were protesting in front of Mr. Gandhi’s residence where the police had erected barricades. When we tried to cross them, the policemen hit us with lathis,” said Mr. Singh, talking to The Hindu.
“I was hit on my left eye and several of my friends too were injured. We were taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, where the doctors told me that the lens of my eye had been dislocated. I cannot see anything after that incident,” he added.
Mr. Singh had lost his eyesight in an accident when he was 14 but was able to see with his left eye after he was operated upon in 2006. That is when he applied for the CellOne Marathon in Delhi in the disabled category and won the gold medal in athletics. This was the first step towards a sporting career and he never looked back.
In 2010, he received a silver medal in the Asian Games; in 2011, he won a bronze in the World Championship in Turkey; and in 2012, the prestigious Arjuna Award was conferred on him.
This article has been edited to correct a factual error