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October 31, 2017

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  NEERAJ GEORGE BABY: DIFFERENTLY-ABLED SCALING NEW HEIGHTS
Neeraj George Baby, Aluva

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While in college, crutches-borne Neeraj used to defeat other able-bodied friends in badminton.  And later he became the first Keralite to win a medal in international tournaments for differently-abled.  A never-say-die attitude has brought Neeraj George Baby laurels even in mountain climbing.

Neeraj had to sacrifice his left leg to cancer at the tender age of eight.  But he was not prepared to forgo his interest in badminton just for that.  His passion saw him take part in university competition in the normal category while a student at UC College, Aluva.  Even while doing higher studies in Scotland, he did not let go his passion and took part in many local badminton tournaments.

Although he sought avenues to enter professional badminton, he could not find necessary support in Kerala.  At last, Badminton Sport Association of India for Challenged from Bengaluru gave him the much-needed patronage.

With their prop, he took part in the national badminton completion for differently-abled and came out champion.  In the next year, he took part in Asian Paralympics and won the gold.

Even while a college student, he had developed a passion for trekking and mountain climbing.  Trekking from Munnar to Kodaikkanal and the trip to Kurungini mountain in Bodinaikkannur, Tamil Nadu are some of his unforgettable journeys.  He reached the top of Kurungini mountain by walking along rugged mountain paths on crutches for 12 km.  According to him, mountain-climbing on crutches is an arduous task, with the need to transfer the pressure on the legs to other parts of the body and taking care that the crutches do not slip on stones and rocks.  Climbing up steep rocky stretches is also tricky.

He dreams of climbing Himalayas.  But he realizes that it wouldn’t be possible with crutches.  And the cost of artificial limb is prohibiting this Assistant at Advocate General’s office from dreaming that high yet.

 

Courtesy: H.Harikrishnan, Mathrubhumi, October 8, 2017

"Believe in your infinite potential.  Your only limitations are those that you set upon yourself."