Have faith in yourself & never let go off your goal- My Take my para athlete Venkatesha Babu
2018 has been a great year for Venkatesha Babu, India’s pride in wheelchair fencing.Recently, this para sportsman participated in the Asian Para Games 2018 at Jakarta and won the sixth position. This is just one of the many laurels that he has won from the country. Currently, he is placed at 31st position in world rankings, second place in Asian rankings and 11th position in national rankings for wheelchair fencing. Babu, who uses a prosthetic leg and a wheelchair, talks to Newzhook about his remarkable journey with wheelchair fencing and also about his future plans.
I come from a small village named Gouribidanur in Karnataka. My parents Narayan Reddy and Lakshmi Devi belong to a family of farmers. It was when I was six years of age that I met with an accident and I had to amputate my right leg. It changed my life. I started losing hope at such a young age and even underwent depression. I thought my life had come to an end.
That is when my uncle Ramanjin Reddy stepped into my life. There has been no room for negativity since then. He is indeed my guardian angel! He brought me a prosthetic leg that I started using. This motivated me and even boosted my confidence. Since then, there has been no turning back. I completed my schooling and pre-university. My life started getting back in shape. I realised that a disability does not stop you from chasing your dreams. I started dreaming and aiming for the stars.
Life in Bengaluru
I came to Bengaluru to do my higher studies. I started working with a garment factory in the city so that I could support my studies. That is how I completed my Diploma in Electrical and Electronics. But I always knew that sports were my true passion. I wanted to deviate my time and energy for sports.
One day, I got the chance to meet Mr Iron Deban Singh who has been my biggest inspiration till date. I decided to take up wheelchair fencing as a career, a sport that is barely recognised in India. This version of fencing for athletes with a disability is a very interesting and great sport. Thus, my journey with this incredible sport began in the year 2013.
Ever since, I’am being trained by Mr Singh at the Kanteevara Stadium in Bengaluru. In fact, learning cycling and bike riding has also helped boost my self-esteem and confidence. Today, I live in Bengaluru and have dedicated all my time for my love for sports.
Much to cheer about
I have participated in many national and international matches. Next I have my eyes on the upcoming Paralympic sports event at Tokyo in 2020. I’am already preparing for that. I also love farming. So I get a lot of time to concentrate on my sports as well. I’am glad that I could be instrumental in taking the name of my country on many international venues. My family consisting of my father, mother and younger sister has always been supportive. They let me be myself and help me when I need. In fact, there is no room for sadness or worries.
The biggest challenge I face every time I get selected for an international event is the lack of funds. In fact, there is no government support at all. It makes things worse. But my passion for the sport has always driven me to go ahead.
I believe that we should have faith on ourselves and never let go off our goal. I have always chosen to look at the brighter side of life. Whatever happens, we must have the courage to overcome them and attain success in life. Success and happiness are two sides of the same coin which you will achieve only through struggle and hardships.