Uttarakhand’s amputee Basketball player has an inspiring story to share!

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Sakshi Chauhan holding the winners trophy in the 6th National Wheelchair Basketball Championship

Sakshi Chauhan is a professional amputee Basketball player from Uttarakhand. She has played several wheelchair basketball championships in her short career, including the 6th National Basketball Wheelchair Championship 2019 and the Asia Oceania Championships 2019. She is currently residing in Delhi for her practice, waiting for the COVID pandemic to get over and carry on with her game.

Sharing with us her life story, Sakshi says, “When I was 9 years old, I met with a deadly road accident. This incident is of my village Bagsari in Devprayag. I was crossing the road when a speeding bus ran over me. As there were no hospitals near my village, I was referred to Jolly Grant Hospital in Dehradun. Due to certain complications, the doctors couldn’t save my injured leg and I had to be amputated. This was a nightmare for all of us as my entire life was about to change after this unfortunate incident.”

Maharasthra Team receiving the trophy from the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju

“I was in the 5th standard when this incident took place. The one thing that I made sure of was not to take any break from my studies. My school in Bagsari was uphill and after the accident, I wasn’t able to attend it. Due to this, I along with my mother and sibling shifted to Rishikesh and I continued with my studies there. I still remember that my mother used to take me to school in a wheelchair till a certain point, after which she had to carry me in arms for the rest of the distance as it was a rough patch and inaccessible for wheelchairs. This is one of the major efforts of my parents of which I am really grateful for!”, she adds.

Telling us about her journey of becoming a professional wheelchair Basketball champion, Sakshi says, “After completing my studies, I worked in a firm in Dehradun for almost two and a half years. During this time, one of my friends Javed from Mumbai, an amputee basketball player, suggested me to take up any sport as I’ve been an active sportsperson during my schooldays before the accident. I gave it a serious thought and started practicing basketball as I was really inspired to see Javed himself being an amazing amputee Basketball player.”

© Dehra Talkies Publications | 2020

“As there were no facilities for wheelchair Basketball in Uttarakhand, Javed kept on giving me tips on the phone and video calls. I used to practice wheelchair Basketball in my workplace discreetly with the support of a wall to get an idea of the basket. I started practicing on a serious level in August 2018 and was selected to represent the Haryana Team for upcoming national games to be held in September 2018 in Tamil Nadu. My performance was not up to the mark but gained a lot of experience of playing professionally. After the aforementioned nationals, I was selected for a WCB Camp in Mumbai and was trained by one of the best coaches. Following this camp, I was selected to represent the Maharastra team in the upcoming finals of the WCB championship, which were held in June 2019”, Sakshi adds.“One of the biggest achievements of my life was to be the only player from Uttarakhand in the list of top 12 national players under the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India. I feel immensely proud to have represented my country at the Asia Oceania Championships 2019, which took place in Pattaya, Thailand from 27th November to 8th December last year.”

Concluding with the interview, Sakshi tells us how sports have molded her life. She says, “Earlier I used to hesitate a lot because of my disability. I always used a prosthetic limp and never crutches as I used to feel uncomfortable due to the social stigma. Now after becoming a champion, I feel proud and confident of my disability and proudly use crutches everywhere, as I don’t care about what and how anybody feels about me. I am what I am and that would not change!”

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