Tokyo Paralympics: Polio-stricken Pramod Bhagat picked badminton to live his dream | Tokyo Paralympics News

PATNA: Pramod Bhagat, the shuttler with roots in Bihar, brought laurels to the country by winning the gold medal in the men’s singles SL3 badminton event at Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday.
Bhagat is a native of Hajipur in Vaishali district but now settled at Bhubaneswar in Odisha.
“This is a proud moment for India. He is the second person from Bihar to get a medal in Paralympics. Before Pramod, Sharad Kumar had grabbed the bronze in men’s high jump. Both the players have world number one ranking and have made all of us very proud,” Shivajee Kumar, the founding member of Paralympic Committee of India, told TOI from Tokyo.
Shivajee is representing India as an official at the Paralympics. Though Pramod has roots in Hajpiur, most of his family members have shifted to Odisha and settled there.
“We have our roots in Hajipur. In fact, one of our sisters, Chandan Devi, is married and settled there,” Pramod’s younger brother Shekhar Bhagat told TOI from Odisha over the phone.
Recalling Pramod’s journey, Shekhar said, “At the age of five, polio struck him. But he continued to chase his dreams and started playing badminton at the age of 12. For the first time, he represented Odisha in the 2006 Nationals. It was then that our father died. However, Pramod kept persevering.”
Unfortunately, his mother Kusum Devi also died due to Covid-19 in a hospital at Patna in 2020. Shivajee requested the Bihar government to give Pramod and Sharad an officer’s job in the government.
“They deserve this and the state government should help such sportsmen,” Shivajee said.

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