Other Sports

Parashuram’s poignant tale

Parashuram Singh, gymnast whose body is completely paralyzed after a tragedy of the 2001 National Games Camp. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

Parashuram Singh, gymnast whose body is completely paralyzed after a tragedy of the 2001 National Games Camp. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu   | Photo Credit: K_RAMESH BABU

For Tedawale Parashuram Singh, the National Sports Day on August 29 is just another day in his distraught life. And, an agonising one too.

The gymnast from Hyderabad met with a freak accident while executing a double somersault in the vaulting horse exercise during the 2001 Punjab National Games’ preparatory camp in Warangal and his hopes took a nosedive, along with his sporting career, on that fateful day.

A faulty landing saw Parashuram, then 20, come crashing into the ground with his head and hands bearing the full impact of the landing. He continues to be paralysed after having his spinal cord badly damaged.

Triumph of the spirit

Even as the big names and future stars of Indian sport celebrate the National Sports Day on Saturday, this bed-ridden gymnast — with his mother Kausalya Bai and brother Jagadish taking care of him — comes up with a rare trait of indefatigable spirit.

“I will wait eagerly to see all great sportspersons join the celebrations tomorrow and I hope they keep winning more laurels,” he said in chat with The Hindu, on Friday.

The gymnast’s parents say that the plight of their son would have been more pitiable but for the “wonderful support” lent by L.V. Subrahmanyam, and later Sumita Dawra, both of whom had earlier served as VC and MD of the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh.

Thanks to their efforts, the Government granted Parashuram about Rs. 6 lakh as financial assistance which came in handy. But even so, his family has spent about Rs. 20 lakh till now — pooling money from every possible source. All with the hope of seeing Parashuram stand on his feet again one day. But right now, the wait seems to be long and frustrating.

Financial woes

Ironically, after one year, the medical and financial assistance that SAAP was providing, was stopped. “This was done on the advice of a medical expert of SAAP who felt that it would be useless to treat this gymnast who has no hope of any recovery,” said Parashuram’s father Girija Lal.

“This was a big blow to my son — both financially and morally,” he said. Now, the only help he is getting from SAAP is about Rs. 3600 per annum which also may be stopped soon going by some hints thrown recently.

However, the family members still believe that a surgery will bring Parusharam to his feet. But who will listen to their plea?

The family is desperately looking to raise funds for the crucial surgery. For them hope seems to be the only eternal motivating factor that keeps them going!

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 8:24:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/Parashuramrsquos-poignant-tale/article16877540.ece

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