Five Indian Paralympic Sportswomen Who Won Our Hearts In 2021

Ekta Bhyan is a para-athlete who represents India in the Women's Club and Disk Throw events.

Anjali Lavania
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Paralympics Sportswomen
India's women paralympians are changing our reputation in global sport. From tennis to shotput, sportswomen in 2021 got many medals for India. Young, edgy with dreams in their heart, these women are mascots of a struggle to success story. Additionally they are talking of important discussions on mental health, and a sense of unified camaraderie. Meet the women who are debunking disability stereotypes and turning role models for us.

The Paralympics (short for Parallel Olympics) are a revolutionary sporting event that features athletes of all physical abilities competing in 22 sports. The following are five Indian Paralympic athletes who have brought honor to their country

1. Ananya Bansal

Ananya Bansal of Mohali, India, won India's first silver medal in shot put in the F-20 category at the Asia Youth Paralympic Games in Manama, Bahrain. Ananya Bansal has a learning disability and is an athlete. Deepa Malik, Paralympic Committee, tweeted for her and praised her achievement.

2. Avani Lekhara

Avani Lekhara of India had won in the women's 50m rifles 3-Positions in SH1 event. This is her second medal at the Tokyo Olympics; she won gold in the final event of the women's 10m air rifle standing with a score of 149.6. Lekhara set a new Paralympic record while tying the world record.

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After a major car accident when she was 11 years old, she was paralysed below the waist in 2012. She is a law student in the northern state of Rajasthan. Her father was the one who pushed her to get involved in sports. The 19-year-old is an expert archer, but shooting has proven to be her true calling.

After reading Abhinav Bindra’s autobiography, she took up shooting as her career.

3. Bhavina Patel

Bhavina Patel, the table tennis player, won a silver medal in Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and she became only the second Indian woman after Deepa Malik to do so. She is also the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic medal in table tennis. Patel suffered from polio at the very young age of 12. 

Indian Medalists At Tokyo Paralympics Bhavina Patel

The 34-year-old was "overjoyed" to win a medal, but "a little disappointed" that she became nervous during the competition.


For a woman who hailed from a small moful village called Sundhiya in Vadnagar Taluka in Mahesana District of Gujarat state, this Tokyo success stories was a milestone she too hadn't dreamt of. Her hard work paid off.

“I’m extremely delighted to win a medal but also a bit disappointed as well. I got a bit nervous,” said Patel, who has lost out to the same opponent in the league fixture, as well.

“I can only assure you that next time I meet her you will see a different me. She clearly got the better of me and had all the shots in her book to outsmart by effort. However, this medal will go a long way I can assure you that."

From Sundhiya village to Tokyo – Bhavinaben Patel's struggle is inspiring

4. Ekta Bhyan

Ekta Bhyan is a para-athlete who represents India in the Women's Club and Disk Throw events. She qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics for the second time after competing in the World Para Athletics Championship. In a car accident in 2003, Ekta's spinal cord was damaged. She started playing in 2015 as a way to get back in shape.


Ekta Bhyan Shares Her Journey To Grand Prix Gold Ekta Bhyan Shares Her Journey To Grand Prix Gold

She met Amit Saroha, a para-athlete who encouraged her to pursue her dreams. During her rehabilitation, she underwent two operations and put in a lot of effort, which gave her the confidence she needed.

She took up Para athletics in 2015. Bhyan trains in Sonipat. "I had never thought about sports. I was always more into academics. That's the only thing I focused on all my life." Initially it was tough for Bhyan. She found the routine and regime for training challenging because of severe quadriplegic disability. She also had to juggle a job and her sport. "With I improved my fitness and performance, and then I started enjoying it."

5. Rubina Francis

Rubina Francis is an Indian para pistol shooter. The International Shooting Sport Federation has her ranked fifth in Women's 10m Air Pistol SH1. 

She took up the sport in 2015 at the Gun For Glory Shooting Academy in Jabalpur, India. Her talent was discovered through a search organised by the Gun For Glory Shooting Academy in India. "I wanted to do something else besides study in school. Gun for Glory Academy came to my school to advertise shooting and I told my father I wanted to do this. So I registered myself and I got selected. That is how the interest developed. My parents backed me and that is how I took up shooting. The journey started from there."

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