If there is an accident with someone around us or due to some illness, when someone comes on a wheelchair, then people assume that the life of that person is of no use. Because, instead of accepting the shortcomings of the people in our society, they are rejected. Where, some people accept their shortcomings as their strength, then some people rise above their deficiency and create new history. As Indian para swimmers Shams Alam is doing. Due to a spinal tumor, the lower part of his waist was paralyzed. But, he never gave up but he is illuminating the name of the country by winning the medal.
Shams Alam, 34, who originally lived in Madhubani in Bihar, says, “The physical deficiency that many people see is not a physical deficiency for me. I have not lost myself but found myself because of this deficiency. ” Surely Shams Alam is a hero whose story is an inspiration to all of us.
Bihar From Start happen The journey:
Shams was born in Rathaus village of Madhubani in Bihar. These villages are on the border of India Nepal and there are frequent floods. He explains, “People in the village come swimming on their own. Does not have to be learned separately. This is the need of our area. If you want to live, then swimming must come. However, I had never seen swimming as a career in my childhood. ”
His family is involved with sports. Therefore, he wanted to wrestle like his grandfather, uncle and elder brother. Shams is the youngest in his family, therefore, his family decided to give him the best education and training. He moved to Mumbai when he was six years old.
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“I was very young when I came to Mumbai with my elder brother,” he says. This was a big change for me. But as time passed, I became fit in this urban life. I completed my schooling, did mechanical engineering and got a job in a good company. Amidst all this, swimming was left behind. ”
However, his desire to become an athlete never left him. He started looking for a place where he could learn wrestling. Because, he was very much influenced by his grandfather. He says that his childhood was spent listening to his grandfather’s wrestling stories. Therefore, he always wanted to do something in this area. However, he did not get much in wrestling and started doing kick-boxing and martial arts. Out of these, he opted to pursue a career in martial arts. After 10 years of rigorous practice with his job, he acquired a black belt in martial arts.
Also, win more than 50 medals in state, national and international competitions. He explains, “I felt that no one could beat me.” The 2010 Asian Games trials (trials) took place in India. I participated in them and won a silver medal. By representing my country and winning the championship, my dream of elevating the name of the country was just an inch away. At that time I was very happy. ”
But, life had set something else for him… ..
There was only a few months left in the Asian Games, when he began to feel a strange movement in the second finger of his left leg. Gradually, his pain started increasing and sometimes he would remain seated at all and could not do anything. This not only stopped his training but he was not able to climb the stairs. Therefore, he consulted a neurologist and got his MRI test done. Tests revealed that he had a tumor in his spinal cord.
He further explains, “The doctor told me that the operation will have to be done. But, he promised that after the operation he would be paralyzed for some time and then I would gradually recover and be able to walk in three to four months. He also said that if the operation is not done, my life may be in danger. ”
But, even after three-four months of the operation, the shams did not recover. He says, “My life had gone into darkness.” The second MRI test showed that there was still a 3.5 mm tumor. The lab report of a previous operation incorrectly showed that it had been fired. I had to undergo surgery for a second time and the tumor also developed. But, by this time, paralysis had become a part of my life. ”
After the operation, he was sent to the ‘Paraplegic Rehab Center’, where he got the physical and emotional strength to recover slowly. He says that it had been many years since he had given up swimming, but people there advised him to go swimming again. Doctors also said that it would help their nervous system recover. Therefore, he went to a swimming pool near Dadar. At first, given his condition, where he was refused to go in the water, but when Shams did not agree, he was allowed to go swimming.
He says, “I was not convinced about this myself, but still jumped into the swimming pool and then my life changed forever.” Shams says that after a few minutes of going into the water, his confidence started to grow and his body automatically became balance and he started swimming. After some time, Shams came out of the water, something had changed in her life and this change was good.
Started second innings of life:
A few months later, in September 2021, he competed in a state-level swimming championship, winning a silver and a bronze medal. In December, she was selected for a national level competition of ‘Paraplegic Swimmers’, where she won a bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke category. After this, he never looked back.
In 2013, he swam in the Arabian Sea at the Gateway of India and also participated in a sea swimming competition, which he could not complete. A year later, by steadfast determination, he participated in the ‘Navy Day Open Sea Swimming Competition’ under the Divyang category. And this time, he not only completed swimming but also set a world record by covering a distance of 6 km in 1 hour, 40 minutes and 28 seconds. Having done so, he is the first person to have a disability, so his name also appears in the Limca Book of Records.
Subsequently, breaking his own record, in 2017 he swam for eight km in the Sinkarim-Baga-Candolim sea in Goa in just four hours and four minutes. In the same year, he represented India in the World Para Swimming Series for the first time and won a bronze medal. With his every win, he was moving towards his dream of representing India at the Asian Games. The dream remained incomplete in martial arts. He finished eighth in the 2018 Asian Para Games.
Currently, he is preparing for the ‘Asian Para Games’ 2020 to be held in China and the ‘World Para Swimming Championships’ 2021 to be held in Portugal.
He has recently won two gold and one silver medal at the 20th National Para-Swimming Championships held at Mount Litera Zee School Whitefield, Bengaluru on 20-22 March 2021. In addition, Shams emphasizes equal rights for the disabled and a better society. He has also been called as a ‘Motivational Speaker’ at different places in schools, colleges, universities and other events and has also participated in ‘TED Talk’.
He finally says, “Think, I’ve gone swimming in the Arabian Sea but, I have to think twice before I leave my house.” Despite the certifications, I do not think I am perverted in any way. I have a shortcoming but it is not a distortion of any kind. Our society has a limited view, not me or my body. ”
Surely Shams Alam is an inspiration to all of us.