|Image Courtesy: Facebook Page of HRX Brand|
silent call to our government. We have so many talented sports
personalities in our country. A few sports do get all the attention, support
and sponsorship in our country, whereas some other sport is completely ignored.
We have heard of many stories in the past in regard to different athletes or
sports personalities, who have brought laurels for our country but got ignored
by our own country. They had to fight their own battle. I may sound very harsh
in writing this but the truth is that there is discrimination against various
sports in our country. This story is a bit more different from the regular ones
since he is deaf. His disability clubbed with his extraordinary talent of
wrestling has earned him a new name: Goonga Pahalwan (The mute wrestler),
though I completely disagree to address him so. It was destiny’s play that Virender
was born as a deaf person, but does that make him inferior? Not at all. You
would be amazed at his story also, who followed his dream of becoming one of
the most successful wrestler our country has ever seen. But the question which
remains to be answered is that is he getting the deserving support from our
country, probably not. In spite of being a great athlete, why Virender has to
face discrimination in comparison to his counterparts who are physically abled,
it is a question which need to be pondered and acted upon. He may not speak or
hear as we do, but he is a superior being in his talent to be one of the best,
he can wrestle with all the odds to be the best. Here is the story of Virender
Singh, a HRX Hero.
onwards) meant for deaf and dumb in Delhi staying along with his uncle,
Surender Kaka. He started learning the sign language. His uncle used to teach
wrestling and that is how Virender took interest in this sport. He expressed
his desire to learn wrestling.
Hrithik: Two days of your life are
important– first is when you are born and second is when you know ‘why’.
very purpose of his life, he understood why he was born. He knew, he was meant
|Image Courtesy: Discovery Channel India’s web page|
Then started his journey to develop the right abilities to be a wrestler. His
uncle started training him. Virender narrates using sign language in the HRX
show that his uncle used to make him get up at 4AM for training. He said, how
he used to get tired with the training and at times used to sleep in school. The
training was very intense.
to speak or hear and his desire to become wrestler was more.
disability did not become a hindrance for him. He was able to defeat many
abled-wrestlers in the ground. He dreamt of competing and exceling for the
country. When he expressed his desire to participate in the national event to
his uncle, he said how he could fight without being able to listen or speak.
Uncle had the intuition that he would be disqualified not because he lacked the
talent but because he was physically disabled. But Virender was so sure of
himself that he responded by saying that hasn’t he taken same amount of
training as his counterparts.
selection contest. Virender Singh won all the wrestling matches, still, he was
not allowed to represent India in international level due to his disability.
The scene in the show, where he was denied even after winning, could move you.
He felt helpless, was upset, he cried, and his heart was broken.
even after falling. He made his anger his biggest strength, again started
participating in local wrestling matches. He even fought with Susheel, one of
the Olympic medal winner. He was exploited both inside and outside the akhada
due to his physical limitation, since wrestling had become his passion.
Though, at times, he got scared and sat at home away from wrestling, but the
threats could not stop him from pursuing his dream and passion and he came back
to the ring. He dreamt of wrestling for India but he was unable to get any
opportunity due to his physical limitation.
participate in the same. Although, he had to shell out money from his pocket
itself for fulfilling this dream, he landed in Australia. Virender wanted to take
this one shot. He won the Deaflympics
Gold medal in 2005. After that, he has won many medals.
medals and bringing so much laurels to our country. I think, the days for
athletes like him haven’t changed. Virender expressed in the show that he feels
bad due to discrimination. He also feels bad that he is not getting the
deserving support from our country, but he is determined to pursue his dream
and continue his winning spree. He has good amount of support from his family
who believes that he is indeed a very talented wrestler.
to take part in regular Olympics. The sound of a whistle, being central to the
game of wrestling, is the logic behind not qualifying him for the regular
Olympics since he can’t hear the sound of the whistle. In International games,
the referee pats on the back instead of regular whistle. Let us hope that
Virender is able to fulfill his dream by getting to participate in Rio Olympics
old Virender Singh), Alka Mehta (Mother), Satyapal Gosain (Father), Yugant
Bhadri Pandey (Surender Kaka), Rajesh Roy (Sarpanch), Vipin Dubey (Cousin
brother), Vinod Pal (Negative Pahalwan), Pranav Kumar (brother 6 years), Manoj
Hero, a real life hero Virender Singh. His story prompts us as citizens of India
to ask ourselves, our system, our government: are we doing justice towards this
great hero, who made our country proud? Are we even able to acknowledge this
great hero? The situations and circumstances were against him, but did he
succumb to them? No, rather, he had the courage, patience, and persistence to grow
beyond all the situations, fight his way out to become one of the most talented
athletes our country has even seen. Isn’t it cruel irony that he is being
discriminated just because he has hearing disability whereas he has proved his
mettle in the international arena. Let us hope that he gets to participate in
Rio Olympics 2016. A grand salute to this HRX Hero: Virender Singh, who grew
beyond his limitation to hear / speak to be the best wrestler.
29th November, 2015 at 8PM.