#Opinion

Avani Lekhara Inspiration: Why Young Women Shouldn’t Give Up on Their Dreams

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Avani Lekhara Inspiration: Rifle shooter Avani Lekhara won the gold medal for India at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1. She thus became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympic games.

Lekhara must be feeling at the top of the world and she inspires hundreds of differently-abled people to believe in their dreams. Now she has also bagged the bronze medal in the R8 women’s 50m rifle 3P SH1 event. Her story is truly one of courage and determination.

Avani Lekhara Inspiration: How she’s a role model for us

The shooter had a near-fatal accident in 2012. Her car got wrecked and it had to be cut open so that she could be pulled out. She suffered severe injuries in her spinal cord that caused partial paralysis. The accident gradually turned her into an introverted person. Her father used sports as a tool to cheer her up. He took her to different sports grounds. She didn’t like archery but started enjoying shooting.

Shashank Kaurani, the Secretary-General of the Rajasthan Rifle Association revealed that she was a girl who couldn’t get out of the car by herself. She had to be carried into the shooting range and was unable to pick up a gun. “Just see how far she has come,” he added. Though the COVID-19 imposed lockdown led to a ban on all sports activities, the association made an exception for Lekhara.

Kaurani praised the determination with which Lekhara practised all alone in the shooting range because it is not an easy task. He also appreciated her coach Chandra Shekhar for training her well.

Practice sessions at home

Before Lekhara returned to the academy, she made the most of the lockdown at home. She installed an electronic target in her 3-BHK flat and practised shooting from her kitchen hallway. Since there are several online training modules available for different sports, she made use of the opportunity. The gold medallist did online coaching, mental training and physical sessions using her phone.

She carried out a major portion of her training by herself during the lockdown when many of her coaches and physiotherapists were unavailable.

The absence of her physiotherapists led to a disruption of her all-important physiotherapy routine. Yet, she managed to keep up her spirits and work hard towards achieving her goal. By winning the medals despite such dire scenarios, Lekhara proved the age-old adage “Where there is a will, there is a way”.

In the words of Avani Lekhara

Avani Lekhara grew up idolising shooter Abhinav Bindra. His 2011 autobiography acted as a major source of inspiration for her. Surprisingly, Bindra himself was one of the first to congratulate Lekhara when she won the gold medal.

The Paralympian dedicated her medal to all differently-abled people. In her opinion, if they believe in themselves, they can achieve everything in the world. She hoped to be that one person differently-abled people can look up to and think, “If she can, why cannot I.” Through her success, Lekhara wanted to make them believe that nothing is impossible and motivate them to achieve their dreams.

Heartiest congratulations to Lekhara! It’s women like her who encourage us on every step of our life to never lose hope and be confident about what we do in life. She is not just the pride of our country but an idol for all women who want to dream big and achieve success.

The views expressed are the author’s own.


Suggested readings:

Avani Lekhara Wins Bronze Medal In Rifle Event At Tokyo Paralympics

Tokyo Paralympics 2020: Avani Lekhara Wins First Gold For India In Shooting

Paralympic Gold Medallist Avani Lekhara Gets Three Crore Rupees Cash Reward From Rajasthan Govt