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75 Years Of India's Independence

We The People: Blade Shuttler

Para-badminton player Manasi Joshi has won several medals since, including gold at the 2019 Basel Para-Badminton World Championships

Manasi Joshi, Para Power

Para-badminton player Manasi Joshi’s story has been told before. But it never gets old. Especially at a challenging time in human history such as now, with bitterness all around.

Joshi lost her left leg after a road accident in Mumbai on December 2, 2011. She was a 22-year-old computer engineer, with a life ahead of her. Yet, she is sorted enough to not be consumed by the tragedy.

“I’m an amputee. So what? There’s more to me than my body,” Joshi said in a TED Talk. She was riding to her job in Mumbai when her two-wheeler got tangled up with a truck in front of her. It ran over her left leg.

Crucial hours were wasted till she was operated upon. The police, though well-meaning, displayed utter lack of sensitivity. They asked her for her papers even as she lay on the road a “mangled mess”.

The hospital she was taken to did not have any surgeons available. They had to wait two-and-a-half hours for an ambulance to reach another hospital. Joshi’s accident had taken place at 8.30 am. She was operated upon at about 6 pm. “The system failed [that day],” Joshi said.

The leg was treated, but it got infected and became gangrenous. Amputation was the only option.

She had played badminton since childhood. Some three months after her accident, she stepped on the court with a prosthetic leg, pursuing the game with a new focus. Joshi has won several medals since, incl­uding gold at the 2019 Basel Para-Badminton World Championships.

(This appeared in the print edition as "Blade Shuttler")

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