The story of shuttler Manshi Joshi is inspiring. The para-badminton player has defied all odds to pursue her dream.

Seven years ago, the Gujarat-based software engineer lost one of her legs in a road accident in Mumbai. However, the accident did not bench Mansi. She continued to chase her dreams with more determination.

Mansi recently won the bronze medal in women’s singles SL3 category at the 2018 Thailand Para-Badminton International, and she is likely to make her Para Asian Games debut in Jakarta in October.

 

Speaking to The Hindu, Manasi talked about the challenges she faces in her life as a para-badminton player. “…the biggest challenge for me is the society itself. It is sad that many still treat para-athletes as lesser mortals though things have, of late, changed a lot thanks to the performances by our tribe at the highest level,” she said.

 

After her accident in Mumbai, Manasi got herself a prosthetic leg from a rehabilitation clinic in Mumbai, and started competing in various tournaments. “I firmly believe that para athletes too are intelligent and knowledgeable and can be role-models for young talent given the way they fight adversity to win laurels at the highest level,” she said, adding, “I am enjoying my training in what is obviously the best centre. It’s very nice on part of Pullela Gopichand sir and other star players like PV Sindhu to keep my morale high. I am so pleased with the way they keep track of my training and progress.”

 

Mansi had a liking for badminton since her childhood. She started competing in international events from 2015. The turning point in Mansi’s sporting career came when she won the mixed doubles silver in the 2015 World Championships. Mansi continued her success by winning a bronze in the 2017 World Championships and then a gold in a Spanish international event.