I Earned It: World Para-Badminton Champion Manasi Joshi
Manasi Joshi deserves the same amount of love from sports fans as PV Sindhu because she too claimed gold for India in the World Para-Badminton Championships in Basel, Switzerland on Sunday. The 30-year-old Manasi Joshi clinched top honours in the women’s singles SL3 final on the same day when PV Sindhu won her World Championship crown. The Mumbai-born and Gujarat-based software engineer Manasi defeated World No. 1 and compatriot Parul Parmar 21-12, 21-7 to pick her maiden title.
- Manasi Joshi won gold at the World Para-Badminton Championship in Basel, Switzerland on Sunday.
- Manasi, who lost her leg in an accident when she was 29, was among the 12 Indian para athletes who won medals at the competition.
- “I earned it. Worked every bit for it,” Manasi tweeted.
“I earned it. Worked every bit for it,” Manasi tweeted on Tuesday.
Manasi’s triumph garnered praise on social media, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi, congratulated the para athletes with 12 other para-badminton players who made the country proud. “130 crore Indians are extremely proud of the Indian Para-Badminton contingent, which has brought home 12 medals at BWF World Championship 2019,” he tweeted.
An engineer by qualification, Manasi lost her leg in an accident when she was 29 years old. It was in December 2011, that the accident occurred but it couldn’t shake her confidence, instead it gave her the nudge and willpower to follow her dreams. She defied all odds and with one artificial leg, she fought her fate and became a para-badminton player. A national and international level para-badminton player, Manasi completed her graduation in Electronics Engineering from KJ Somaiya College of Engineering, University of Mumbai in 2010.
In an exclusive interview with SheThePeople.TV, Manasi explained how this life threatening accident boosted her confidence. “My family has never ever said ‘no’ to me. They have always encouraged me to do whatever pleases me, in a sense they were the wind beneath my wings. Skills you learn while playing a sport remain with you for the rest of one’s life and that’s what happened to me. Sport taught me some of the most important skills, for example to accept the current loss and try and win another time. Once you accept loss, it’s extremely easy to adapt to new things even if it is a disability. I also followed a yoga and meditation regimen for myself in those days when I was recovering from the accident,” she said.
Talking about the challenges she faced, Manasi told STP, “The main challenge I faced was not so much the accessibility, but the insensitivity of people towards disability. I feel we in India have a long way to go in accepting disabled people into mainstream.”
A huge fan of PV Sindhu, ever since Manasi started competing at International level, she has never returned without a medal.
Her winning moments
A huge fan of PV Sindhu, ever since Manasi started competing at International level, she has never returned without a medal. She went on to win many medals for India, in September 2015, she won silver in mixed doubles at the Para-Badminton World Championship held in Stoke Mandeville, England. She clinched a bronze in 2016 women’s singles, another bronze in 2017 World championship and gold at a Spanish international event. In October 2018, Manasi won a bronze medal at the Asian Para Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Her advice to youngsters
Giving advice to the young generation, a confident Manasi said, “People lose hope because there are people around them who tell them that it will be difficult. I want to tell everyone that it is really easy. If you think you want to do it, you will find people who will help you and make you reach where you are supposed to go. Things are extremely easy. All we require is honesty and patience.”
We’re proud of you, Manasi!
Feature Image Credit: Dhoolmitti