Visually impaired Armyman wins gold in national para event | India News

PUNE: “Spirit can overcome challenges,” said Lt Col Dwarakesh after winning gold and silver medals in the 23rd national para swimming championships held between March 29 and 31 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.
Lt Col Dwarakesh’s tenacity and perseverance have helped him add another feather in his cap, as the Army’s only blind active-duty officer clinched the two medals at the championships conducted by Paralympic Committee of India.
Currently posted at the Station Headquarters in Khadki, Pune, the officer had joined the Cadet Training Wing through the technical entry of the Indian Army and opted for the Corps of Military Intelligence in 2009. After a road accident claimed his eyes in 2016, he climbed the Siachen Glacier in Oct 2021 and won a shooting national medal in Nov 2023.
Practised for 5 hours a day: Para swimmer
The 35-year-old told TOI, “Sport has given me a vision for life. Several hours of swimming practice for the last few months resulted in a gold in the 50m (51 seconds) and silver in the 100m (1 minute 50 seconds) breaststroke event. Dwarakesh has been focusing on fine-tuning his technical aspects of swimming. “Unlike other swimmers, I have a different set of challenges to overcome. The others can simply follow the instructions of the coach, but in my case, I have to carefully listen and then follow the directions. I need a significant amount of time to correct even a tiny error in my technique, and I practised for five hours daily to enhance it,” the officer said.
Dwarakesh, along with swimming, has also been practising shooting. “I worked out my schedule to practise both. However, in the last few weeks, I concentrated on swimming,” he said.
Commodore Varun Singh, secretary of the Services (armed forces) Sports Control Board, told TOI from New Delhi, “Lt Col Dwarakesh’s achievement is an inspiration. He has again proved his tenacity and determination in this competition. His journey in sports is a saga.” He said, “The participation of para personnel in sports is huge, and their medals are an icing on the cake. These special sports personnel are a source of hope and inspiration for everyone.”
Nitten Mehta, commanding officer of the Army Paralympic node where Dwarakesh trained, told TOI, “His performance shows his sincerity. Our focus is to achieve international standards to improve the performance of our athletes on a global stage.

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