Parasports November 24, 2020
Decide what you want in life & go all out to get it, believes para sportsperson Pooja Agarwal
In ‘My Take’ this week, we have 35-year-old Pooja Agarwal from Delhi. Pooja is a triple amputee, a para sportsperson who excels in shooting. She also works with a leading bank and is an independent young woman.
I was born in Dehradun, but moved cities owing to my father’s job. I had completed my MCA and worked as a college lecturer, got married and settled down. Everything was going perfectly well for me until that fateful day in December 2012. I was at a railway station when I tripped and fell from the platform to tracks. A train was approaching and I was hit.
“I have always been an extrovert, happy and lively. So staying inside the hospital for days after the accident were the worst. I was on bed and couldn’t get up. In fact, I needed help to turn to sides while lying on the bed. Since I had to do triple amputation, I did not know how I was going to survive. Those days were torture for me. But then I thought, I have my right hand intact so everything is going to be all right! Coming out of an unexpected disability in life is not easy. But I could do it with will-power and confidence.”
Life after a disability
I was slowly getting back to normalcy. But most importantly, I wanted to become independent and self-reliant. My mother and siblings were supportive. Luckily, I started job at a bank. To make myself feel better, I took up sports. I started off with table tennis. Then I experimented more with shooting in the year 2016 and was very comfortable in it. I started playing national and international tournaments. Currently, I’am preparing for the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021.
I always wanted to learn swimming and was getting prepared for that when Covid crisis happened. So had to drop plans. I did scuba diving and river rafting after my accident.
When I look back, the journey was tough but totally worth it.
Making the best out of life
During lockdown, I started doing videos to keep myself engaged and also so that people could enjoy. My friends suggested I do it. So I have done 14 videos that are shared on social media mainly to show society that people with disabilities can do anything. Just that they will have to do it differently. So when I’am free and have time to myself, I do videos and upload them. Sometimes I include my mother in it. It was hard to convince her, but it is fun when she is also in it. I hope to learn dance someday. Steps needs to be modified for me, but I’am hopeful that I can do it someday.
I had long hair before the accident and I totally loved it. But since I couldn’t manage it on my own anymore, I cut it short. I had to take efforts and strong decisions in order to become independent. But that is what I want to be.
“It is important to decide what you want to do in life. Want to go outdoors when you have a disability? Then do it. Only you can help yourselves”.
Watch in Sign Language
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