The Challenger

It was about 4 years back, I had just moved on to a new team a few days back and I met him for the first time the day he returned from his leave. I saw him hobble on one of his legs and asked him, ‘what happened to your leg?’Ah that’s what it is’ he said and smiled at me assuring me that I should not worry too much about it. I was perplexed at his response but did not want to make him uncomfortable so I rested the conversation there. A few days later another colleague made a mention about him at the lunch table and I discovered how Major D P Singh lost his leg. All I could remember then was ‘that smile’!

Dead Man Walking 

The victory lap
It was during the Kargil War in 1999 when he faced bombings and pieces of shrapnel entered his body. He was brought to a hospital and declared dead when some smart doctor shooed the news and revived him almost from the dead. It took him 10 years to rejuvinate himself and stand on his feet- one his own and one artificial. But he had resolved to stand tall err… better still run! He enrolled for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in 2009 and since then has participated in almost all marathons across the country.

From Disability to Ability

The spirit never dies

Through these years he has struggled to get back to health. From having to stretch during morning practice sessions to health checkups and dealing with a prosthetic he has already put himself through extreme. Dealing with stomach ailments to Vertigo and the bleeding stump, he has endured it all. And after all this, once you meet him you can never let go off that ‘smile’ as a lasting memory in your mind. Since 2009 he has improved his half marathon time from 3 hours and 50 minutes to 2 hours 26 hours emerging as India’s First Blade Runner. His next target being trying to match his march under the 2 hours mark!

Yeh Dil Maange More (The heart desires more)

The NPO headed by Major D P Singh
When there is so much inspiration within you is it difficult from having it spilling over to others? Shortly, Major D P Singh started inspiring many people and started a Facebook group on January 26, 2012 by the name of ‘The Challenging Ones’ to support his cause of helping other amputees across the country and encouraging them to participate in sports for the country. The fever spread far and wide and many young followers joined his bandwagon and till date proudly participate with him in the marathons.

An Appeal

Maj D P Singh dreams of participating in the Para Olympics and make our country proud. A trip to the United States for an improved prosthetic awaits him (which will improve quality of running and help him to qualify for Para-Olympics), however he needs sponsorship for travel & stay. I appeal you to SHARE, spread the word and come forward to help him fulfill his dream.
Feet on Fire

Major Devender Pal Singh is an inspiration to many including me. Every time I am faced with a challenge in my life I look towards him for inspiration and regain my strength. If you happen to meet him, ever, you would know what resilience is really spelt as. And that is why he believes that the day is not far away when every disabled person in our country will be called ‘A Challenger’.

Here is a glimpse of the spirit of this courageous man with a positive outlook.

Mentions an incident from the time when he flunked in
Class XI (Grade 11)

Major D P Singh at one of the TEDx talks

Any contributions towards the cause can be made by getting in touch with Major D P Singh 

This post is a part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, July 2013

Disclaimer: All pictures used in this post belong to Major D P Singh and may not be used in any form without prior permission.


24 thoughts on “The Challenger

  1. Thank you Kajal for the very thought provoking post! His smiling attitude is inspiring – and his story about not passing Class XI – really made me take a step back and remember that all things happen for a reason – you just need to be open to the reason!Lisa

  2. Thank you, Kajal, for sharing this inspirational post. His smile is so radiant and one you would always remember! Stories like this always put our lives in perspective.

  3. What an inspiration this man is! Reminds me of that line, I had the blues when I had no shoes, till I met on the street, a man who had no feet.And this man is not only short of one leg, it doesn't stop him from running.What a lesson for us all. Thanks for this post, Kajal.

  4. Kajal, this is awe inspiring!!!Thank you for introducing us to Major Devender Pal Singh. You should spread this story around. We never know who might help get the dream sponsorship!!! Cheers to you 😀

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