Bhopal based 12-year-old hearing and speech impaired shuttler Gauranshi Sharma will represent the country in World Youth Deaf Badminton Championship scheduled to be held from July 13 at Chinese Taipei.

The road to success, however, was not easy. She has been playing badminton since she was seven and it is only after five years of dedication that she could achieve the feat. Gauranshi’s coach Rashmi Malviya is all praise for her. “I have never seen such dedication. She came to us for a summer camp and hasn’t looked back ever since.” she said. She further praised her by saying that she is an amazing and self-motivated child who is always willing to take challenges. In fact, at the age of 9, she was number four in the national ranking. Interestingly, she’s been defeating shuttlers older than her. “Her efforts are commendable,” Malviya says, praising the young prodigy.

She is also a regular member of the badminton academy at Tatya Tope stadium.

How she got selected

Gauranshi was selected on the basis of her performance in the national championship. It was organised earlier this year where she had won a silver and bronze medal. “Top players were selected from the national championship for the world meet. A selection trial was also held through which top eight got selected in the national team,” said Malviya.

I have never seen such dedication. She came to us for a summer camp and hasn’t looked back ever since. – Rashmi Malviya, Gauranshi’s coach

Her parents

Gauranshi’s parents suffer from the same impairment but they have always motivated her to pursue her dreams and strive for the best. She showed a lot of dedication towards the game. The fact that she has never missed badminton classes proves her love for the same.

Malviya confessed that coaching her was a difficult task. “When she had joined the camp, I was not sure of how to communicate with her. But the confidence she and her parents showed, made things easy.” she said. In fact, she was also motivated to learn the sign language to help Guaranshi in helping her realise her potential.

“I wanted to nurture her talent. With the help of her parents, I also started learning sign language which helped me immensely in coaching her. In order to instill more confidence in her, Malviya asked Gauranshi’s parents to allow her to compete in the district championship like any regular athlete,” Malviya told TOI.

When she had joined the camp, I was not sure of how to communicate with her. But the confidence she and her parents showed, made things easy. – Rashmi Malviya

Shruti Gupta, a 11-year-old is the other player to be selected from the state for the championship.

Succeeding despite odds

Last year, a girl from Haryana, Nishtha Dudeja, won the Miss Deaf Asia 2018 title at an international pageant held in Prague, Czech Republic. With this, she became the first Indian to clinch a title at the Miss Deaf World Pageant.

Nishtha was born in Panipat. Deaf since birth, she took the disability in her stride. She has won the title at the 18th edition of Miss and Mister Deaf World-Europe-Asia Beauty Pageant 2018.

She started learning judo at the age of seven. She participated in various tournaments up to the international level and won several medals. The beauty queen is also an accomplished tennis player.

These two heart-warming stories prove that hard work and perseverance are the real factors that determine a person’s destiny.

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