Shridhar N Malagi is an 18 year old who knows a lot about overcoming all odds to achieve his dreams. He was just another kid going to school and happy living with his 3 elder sisters and parents in the suburb of Mazagaon. His father works as a helper in a factory in Udyambag and his mother is a domestic help.
But one day while commuting to school in an auto, the auto over turned and in the accident his one hand had to be amputated. He was just 6 years old when this tragic accident happened his life had come to a standstill.
He was going to school but he never had the passion nor the interest. He always thought that one accident made me disabled. With meager income, the parents were also worried about how Shridhar would lead his life. But his parents were always supportive.
One day along with friends Shridhar decided to visit the Rotary Swimming pool at Basveshwar circle. All his other friends went for swimming and he was just sitting outside the pool in one corner and that is when swimming guru Umesh Kalghatgi had his eyes pondered over him. HE went over to him and asked him would you like to swim?
Shridhar was amazed as he did not know who he was, but the answer from within was yes and he said yes. Umesh asked him to go home and get his parents and then he can learn swimming.
The very next day Shridhar along with his parents met Umesh Kalghatgi in 2012 and from then on his new life had begun. The parents who were a bit hesitant at the beginning as they weren’t sure if they would be able to afford the fees, but when Umesh said, I dont charge for training him, they had the best moment in their life.
Shridhar has 27 medals in his kitty most of them won at National level. He has 20 Gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze medals as of now. He mastered butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle swimming.
His latest addition was the 5 Gold he won at the 17th national para swimming championship 2017 which was held at Udaipur in November 2017. He has also attempted Sea swimming.
Like most swimmers, Shridhar values the intense camaraderie he has developed with his teammates and coaches. And, like most teenagers, hanging out with his friends, eating, watching movies and playing video games are all part of his routine. But it is his time in the water, pacing against the clock, pushing him to the limit every day in the pool, and relishing the challenge that he credits with his survival. And so, he swims, always with optimism, a ready smile and a word of encouragement to those around him.
He now practices at the JNMC pool in the morning and at the Rotary Pool in the evening for two hours each. After his morning pool routine he then goes to gym.
Go Sports Foundation has also come up to support this talented young swimmer.
He is now targeting the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and is practicing hard to qualify for the same.