The Indian para-badminton star Manasi Joshi has made it to the list of BBC 100 Women of 2020. The list from BBC includes those women who are leading the world and trying to make a change during these uncertain times.
An engineer by education, Manasi Joshi is the current para-badminton World Champion and is also ranked world number 2 in the SL3 singles category by the Badminton World Federation.
Manasi lived a normal life until eight years ago when a truck smashed into her, crushing her left leg and breaking both her arms when she was on her way to work. The accident was so bad that the doctors had to amputate her leg and it took months of rehabilitation before she could walk again. Aged just 21 then, Manasi refused to give up on life and found her passion in badminton to emerge as one of the best players in the world.
What helped Manasi develop into the best in the world even after such a devastating accident is the fact that she used to play badminton since she was just six years old. Five months after the unfortunate incident, Manasi emerged as the badminton champion in her office, defeating able-bodied people. This gave her the confidence to pursue para-badminton professionally and in 2016 she quit her job to play the game full time.
She joined the Pullela Gopichand in 2018 and made her way into the Indian para-badminton squad the same year. She became the World Champion in the next year in 2019.
Manasi Joshi was also recently named in the ‘Next Generation Leaders’ list by the TIMES Magazine and also appeared in their cover page of Asian edition as an advocate for the rights of disabled people in India. She also became the only Indian para-athlete to get a Barbie doll modeled after her on International Day of Girl Child 2020.
“This year has been challenging to women in so many ways. Don’t let the tough times get the better of you: keep exploring every possibility. Give yourself some time off every day,” Manasi told the BCC.
Hailing from the city of Ahmedabad, the 31 year old Manasi Joshi is certainly an inspiration to many in the country as well as the world.
The other Indians to make the list include, the 82 year old Bilkis Bano who is known for her protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the gaana musician Isaivani and the young 12 year old climate change activist, Ridhima Pandey.