This 13-year-old has undergone 12 surgeries so far to overcome his physical disability, but Aniket Chidambar Pilankar from Bazar Galli Vadgaon, Belagavi has proved again that any form of Physical disability can’t hamper one’s way to success.
Aniket, who grew up facing physical challenges since birth, has won 6 gold medals at the national level and 3 gold medals at the state level in swimming. He won Gold in the 100m, 50 m Freestyle, and 50m backstroke in the boys’ sub-junior category at the recent 22nd Para National Swimming Championship in Guwahati, Assam.
He has many accolades to his name which includes the title of ‘Best Swimmer’ in the competition. Aniket practices at the Suvarna JNMC swimming pool in the city and practices for an hour-and-a-half hour every day and has been getting guidance from Umesh Kalghatgi, Govardhan Kakatkar, and other swimming coaches since last year.
Aniket’s father works in a factory and his mother is a homemaker, for them bringing up Aniket was a hell of a task. He wasn’t normal like other children, he couldn’t stand on his own and walk. He underwent his first surgery when he was 3 months old, and by the age of 6, he underwent 12 surgeries on his limbs, knees, and ears.
A ray of hope came into his life in the form of swimming and his condition gradually improved. Since he started swimming, his body has gained strength and he can now walk with little help. Aniket’s parents also said that swimming has given him a lot of confidence and he is happy.
Aniket Pilankar is currently studying in class VII at Muktangan Vidyalaya in the city. Initially, his parents had to pick him up and sit him on a bench in school. But now, after being dropped off at school, he walks himself to his bench in the classroom.
Swimming has changed my life and given me confidence. Now I want to win medals for my country in the Paralympics and Asian Games in the future and I am working hard for that, said Aniket.
Umesh Kalghatagi, his swimming coach and has identified many outstanding swimmers who are differently abled.