Meet Kashish Lakra - The youngest Indian athlete to qualify for Tokyo Paralympics
After attaining the title of the youngest Indian athlete to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics, Kashish Lakra has her eyes set on a podium finish.
Kashish Lakra made history this year as she became the youngest Indian participant to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics. The 18-year-old fought against improbable odds to qualify and compete against some of the best in the world.
A tragic accident left the avid sports fan in the hospital as she suffered injuries to her spine. The doctors told her parents that she would not make it past 48 hours, and even if she did, she would be bedridden for life. Kashish being a fighter, made a miraculous recovery, stunning the doctors who treated her. She had to drop out of school to focus on her treatment and was later denied reentry into the school she was studying in.
"I thought it was the end of my life. I was hospitalised for a week. Then, we got to know about the Indian spinal injuries centre in Vasant Kunj, where I underwent treatment for 4.5 months. My physiotherapist, Vikram sir, helped me a lot. When he got to know that I am very passionate about sports, he introduced me to Satyapal Singh sir, who told me about Paralympics, and I started training under him for Club Throw," said Kashish in an interview to The New Indian Express (TNIE).
Her courage, determination and persistence, despite facing hurdles at every turn, while being very young, is inspirational. She made the most of what was given to her without complaining while also putting in tremendous work to chase after her sporting dreams with the help of her coach Satyapal Singh.
She has been practising Club throw for the past 2.5 years under Satyapal Singh at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and is expected to travel to Tokyo with her mother, as per reports.
Gradually, the youngster picked up the sport and soon became one of the best as her determination to win despite the odds shone through. She racked up medals at both the national and international stages before qualifying for the Paralympics.
"I also won a gold at Junior World Championship in Nottwil Switzerland, and the fifth place in the senior world championship, Dubai, in 2019. This year, I participated in the Fazza Championship, and now I am all set to leave for Tokyo," she has said to TNIE.
Her willpower also drives her to push herself to walk again. The doctors cannot tell if she may be able to walk again but have advised her to continue her physiotherapy as it may help her get better. The youngster also adds that she could not have done this without the support of her family, as they help her train and encourage her to be the best version of herself.
It will not be too long before we see the young champion on the podium at the grandest stage. She may lack the experience to compete against the world's best who have been playing the sport for more than a decade, but her determination and willpower is right up there to give them a run for their money. Kashish Lakra's story serves as an inspiration for future generations, as she shows us daily how you can overcome your circumstances and obstacles if you had a larger goal and a single-minded focus to achieve them.