Tucked away in a corner in Naidu Street, Kottur, Chennai, is the Hercules Gym. On stepping inside, you may accost the proprietor and chief trainer, a powerfully built man, which should not surprise you as most trainers are powerfully built. But it is when you try to strike up a conversation with him that you realise he is speech and hearing impaired.
Meet S. Bhagavathi, born deaf-mute, but who has defied all odds to pursue his sport, power lifting, passionately since the age of 16 and won numerous national and international awards.
His recent success came in Coimbatore in December when he won a silver in the Asian powerlifting championship. He had earlier won a silver in the world power lifting championship in Indonesia, 1994, silver in dead lift with new record in Asian men and Women Power Lifting Championship in Taiwan,1997, a silver in Asian Power Lifting Championship, Korea, 1998, silver in Asian Power Lifting Championship, India, 1999 and bronze, Asian Power Lifting Championship, Uzbekistan, 2000.
He recently won a silver in Asian powerlifting championship