90% paralysis did not deter this man from winning two gold medals in swimming
Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | December 13.39 pm IST For 33-year-old Adil Ansari, 90% paralysis has not deterred him from swimming. Wheel-chair bound, Adil recently participated at the 14th National Paralympic Swimming Championship in Indore and won two gold medals in the 50-metre freestyle and men's backstroke category. However, disability has come as a hurdle when the municipal corporation of Bhiwandi that owns a swimming pool did not allow Adil to practice as they were reluctant to take a chance with his life, reported DNA. "After my selection for the national event, I decided to practise more rigorously. The municipal pool in Bhiwandi is run by ex-corporator Anees Momin on contractual basis. I showed the pool authorities videos of my swimming practise, but their men refused to let me use the pool and asked me as to who will take responsibility if I drowned," said Adil according to the report. His passion for swimming was so strong that he began travelling 90 kms back and forth from Bhiwandi to Dharavi to practice. Despite winning the gold medals and showing the municipal officials videos of his abilities, the corporation has refused his entry. "I pleaded with Momin's men to let me swim but they are asking for an affidavit saying they will not be held responsible in case there is a mishap in the pool. I am distressed by such discriminatory behaviour towards disabled persons," he said remorsefully. Adil began swimming at the age of 10 in local wells and nearby rivers. He claims that he could swim entirely across the Khadavli river. But one day, while diving from his usual spot, he hit a stone severly injuring his head and spine. He lay unconscious for a month and lost sensation in 90% of his body. "I can move my hands but not fingers. With much effort I can lift my body. My body which is paralyzed chest down floats in water, so I manage to swim," Adil said. "I can swim the back stroke. I cannot do the breast stroke as that involves lifting my neck up and conduct sideways movement." he said according to the report.