Girisha Hosanagara Nagarajegowda, silver medallist at the Paralympics men’s high jump, does not think of himself as “disabled” but “more like differently abled”.
Archery coach Chandan Singh, too, is convinced differently abled children at Gokhla, 60km east of Bhagalpur, are worthy of a shot at glory.
Twenty-nine-year-old Chandan, who has coached the Indian archery team in the South Asian Archery Championship in 2008, shifted to the Bhagalpur village from Jamshedpur two years ago to train children at a government school.
The past three months, however, have been a “different experience” for him.
“Around three months ago, I saw a differently abled child playing football in the village. He used a walking stick but was extremely good at football. I was very impressed with his skill.”
Watching the differently abled child play football, Chandan was so moved that he started to train youths like him. Even though he had no experience of training differently abled children in archery, he approached the villagers to send their wards to him and won the battle after a lot of persuasion.
Now, apart from being a coach at Eklavya Rajya Prasshikshan Kendra in Gokhla, Chandan also trains 15 differently abled children daily for four hours.
“All of my students are doing very well. They have learnt archery very fast. Now they are mastering the art,” said the proud coach.
He said: “I want to send my students to the National Paralympic Archery Championship. First they need to clear the initial trials though. If my students are selected for the championship, it would be their greatest achievement.”