Triple amputee & fitness trainer Tinkesh Kaushik is dedicated to helping people stay healthy
Just nine years old when he was left disabled, Tinkesh Kaushik's life story is out of a storybook. From small town Haryana to para sports training in Hyderabad to working as a fitness trainer in Pune, it's been a life of great adventure.
When he is not at the gym motivating clients to reach peak fitness levels, you are most likely to find Tinkesh Kaushik either bungee jumping, or river rafting, or running a marathon. There is no adventure sport that 25-year-old Tinkesh is not game enough to try. Put that never-say-die spirit in the larger picture of his life and you will agree that Tinkesh is a pretty remarkable guy.
From Jhajjar, Haryana Tinkesh was nine years old when he got electrocuted while flying a kite. His kite got stuck in a wire and he suffered a 11,000-volt shock. The impact was so severe that his legs from below the knees and his left arm above the elbow had to be amputated.
"I was in hospital for six months and it was not an easy time for me or my family, says Tinkesh. "My father is a shopkeeper and my parents faced many issues looking after me, but they supported me a lot. His family managed to put together the funds for his prosthetic legs and were supportive of his dreams.
When Tinkesh finshed graduation, he was dismayed to find he had become seriously overweight and took up fitness training in a big way, never mind the challenges this brings as a triple amputee. Tinkesh also posted his fitness videos on social networking sites. One day he came across the Aditya Mehta Foundation, a Hyderabad NGO that works with amputees and reached out for help.
Aditya Mehta took notice of my determination and said they would fund prosthesis worth Rs 8 lakh for me and offer training in para sports. My life changed. I trained heavily and took up cycling and swimming. As a triple amputee, there are not many international opportunities, otherwise I could have played any sport. - Tinkesh Kaushik, Fitness Trainer
In 2018, encouraged by Salil Jain, a prosthetic engineer with Endolite, Tinkesh moved to Pune where he started working as a fitness trainer to earn a living. Jain felt he had a lot of promise.
"The purpose of bringing him to Pune was to help him become self-sustaining and earn a regular source of income. I saw that in Hyderabad people would him and other disabled people for publicity events, but it was not helping him become independent. I saw a certain spark in him, says Jain.
It's a spark that many others in Tinkesh's immediate world appreciate and respect. Sumi Sreshta, a close relative, a frequent partner in extreme sports events says, "his biggest strength is that he never says no. He is never low or down and is always positive about himself.
It's this positivity that makes him such a hit with his clients. Tinkesh trains people with and without disabilities and has also been a mentor to amputees, motivating them when they are down and out.
Smita Gautam, a Pune-based consultant in business strategy, finds his never say die attitude and eagerness to do things, inspiring. "Life as a triple amputee is so challenging but by taking up physical fitness in a big way and participating in inclusive sports events, Tinkesh is setting an example. He has transformed my life and many other people.
Despite all the respect and praise from people around him, Tinkesh is clear that he has many dreams left to fulfil. "Sometimes, I do feel taken for granted and I don't think there's enough respect given to someone with a disability like mine. I would look forward to exploring opportunities, perhaps even abroad.
GET IN TOUCH: To reach Tinkesh Kaushik, calls +91 93558 29784 or email email@example.com