Was told to leave sports and focus on studies, but I took it as a challenge: Devendra Jhajharia tells PM Modi

Was told to leave sports and focus on studies, but I took it as a challenge:  Devendra Jhajharia tells PM Modi

New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted with the Indian contingent headed for the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics, beginning August 24. In an effort to boost the confidence of the para-athletes, he wished them luck and asked them to go ahead and express themselves at the showpiece event.
During the interaction, para-athlete Devendra Jhajharia (javelin thrower) told PM Modi: "Sir, you have always encouraged para-athletes, and now we will do our best at the Tokyo Paralympics. When I was nine years old, I lost my hand and when I came back, it was a challenge to go outside my house. When I started playing in school, when I pulled javelin, there were taunts that I had to deal with. There I decided that I will not be weak, in life I have learnt that when there is a challenge in front of us then you are close to achieving success. I was told that I should study and there is no place for me in sports, but I took it as a challenge."
"I am dedicated towards javelin throw, I am very disciplined. I have a javelin in the room that I sleep in and my wife has encouraged me to keep going. In Rio 2016 I qualified for the Games, I trained in Gandhinagar. I felt very happy after winning the medal at Rio 2016 and I have been staying here and training," he added.
Prime Minister Modi also lauded para-shooter Jyoti Balan for being determined throughout every phase of her life and he wished her luck for the upcoming Paralympics.
"This is your first Paralympics. Your parents have done a lot for you. You are an inspiration for everyone, I would like to applaud your mother for handling every situation with great determination and grit. You are a great daughter and sister, when the country knows about you, they will get further enlightened," said Modi.
While talking about her journey, Jyoti said: "My father got me enrolled in an academy to further enhance my archery skills and now I am going to the Paralympics. When my father passed away, I was very sad. I am not that financially strong, my coach supported me. I am determined to win a medal and make the country proud. I like 'bhindi' so I will want to have that when I come back with a medal."
Flag bearer Mariyappan Thangavelu told PM Modi that his only goal has been to make the country proud. "I suffered an accident at a small age, but I did not let that deter me. I have been consistently looking to perform from 2011 onwards and wish to make the country proud once again in Tokyo. My coach has helped me a lot and I have got a lot of support from the government, SAI and the paralympic committee. I want to tell every athlete to never give up."
As many as 54 para-athletes from across nine sports disciplines will be heading to Tokyo to represent the nation in the upcoming Paralympics. This is India's biggest-ever contingent to the Paralympic Games. Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and Law Minister Kiren Rijiju were also present during the interaction. The Tokyo Paralympic Games is scheduled to be held between August 24 and September 5. India will start its campaign on August 27 with men's and women's archery events. (ANI)

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