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#BeingMom - Behind swimming champ Ankita Anvikar's success story is mom Anjali

In our month-long campaign #BeingMom, we bring you the story of Anjali Arvikar from Aurangabad, mother to national swimming champion Ankita.

When her daughter Ankita was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of one, Anjali Arvikar was confused and devastated. Doctors told her Ankita's physical mobility would be affected and Anjali initially struggled for some guidance. Over time she got her confidence together and learned about therapies that could empower her daughter.

Her husband shared the same confusion but was supportive and stood by Anjali, determined to give their daughter the best possible help and care. "Initially, my husband and I thought that cerebral palsy was curable and she would recover after two to three years", says Anjali. Over time, she realised the reality and decided to devote herself to Anjali full-time. She quit her job as a lawyer and stayed with her.

"I used to accompany her for therapies and other sessions because we did not want to compromise on all that. I am glad that I stood with her through thick and thin in spite of many odds in my path. It is wonderful to see her swimming and bringing home accolades".

Guide & Mentor

Anjali remembers Ankita's first tryst with water. It was when she was a year old. She decided to introduce her to swimming and found that Ankita just took to the water. When Ankita turned 16, Anjali started sending her for professional swimming lessons to Abhijit Tambe, a swimming coach who has trained many children with disabilities.

Today, Ankita is a well-known figure on the national scene and has won many accolades. She has three national medals and state-level medals to her credit.

Apart from swimming, Anjali ensured that her daughter developed an interest in reading and music. Ankita has also ramp walked for fashion shows. It doesn't end here. Ankita is also a businessman. Anjali has trained Ankita to make handmade soaps, a business that she plans to pursue in the future as well.

When you have a child with a disability, there is nothing to feel guilty about. You must give them the right platform for development. Concentrate on their strengths, it is not going to be a bed of roses. When Ankita was diagnosed, I knew it is going to be a long process. I wanted her to be independent and stand on her own feet without relying anyone. I also want her to do something for other children with disabilities as well- Anjali Arvikar, Ankita's mother

Coach Tambe, who has been training Ankita for the past 10 years says she has worked hard to reach this level.

Initially, she was not fit and had difficulties with her physical activities. But once she started learning swimming, Ankita could do many things on her own. Her muscles loosened which made day-to-day activities easier. Now, she does her own business with the help of her mother who is a strong support pillar to Ankita", he says.

Truly inspiring to see a mother-daughter journey that holds lessons for so many.


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