Belgaums fish Rajesh Shinde has been honored with the EKLAVYA award for the year 2010-11.
Rajesh Shinde (English Channel Swimmer) was born in Belgaum on 1st May 1985.
He learnt to swim in a pond and then to develop his skills. He joined the Swimmer’s Club Belgaum & Aquarius Swim Club Belgaum in the year 2001.
He was affected with polio in one of his legs at an very early age. But he had a desire to develop as a swimmer and his dedication towards the sport has resulted in him successfully swimming the English Channel recently. In spite of his disability he completed swimming the English Channel in cold and harsh conditions by swimming continuously for 14 hours 46 minutes. He is the First Physically Challenged Swimmer in South India to successfully complete the Mission of Crossing the English Channel.
He has represented India at 7 International Events including Commonwealth Games held
at New Delhi and has won total of 11 International Medals.(4 Gold Medals, 5 Silver Medals, 2 Bronze Medals). His best being 4 Gold medals at FESPIC Youth Games, held at Hong Kong in 2003.
At the National Level, he has won total of 38 medals. Apart from swimming in the pool,
he has participated in various open water challenges, prominent among them being 81 Kms. swim in the River Bhagirathi, at Murshidabad, West Bengal and 38 kms in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Gujarat.
He has completed his B.Com Degree from RPD College, Belgaum. Presently he is working in Sports Department of VTU Belgaum.