India’s first woman blade runner: Kiran Kanoji

Via Humans of Bombay:

Image Credit: Humans of Bombay

“My parents used to iron clothes for a living, and earned 2,000 Rupees a month. We were 3 siblings and life was difficult. We struggled for basics like electricity, but we had no choice — we used to study and finish chores under a street light.
Until the 12th grade, I studied rigorously. I managed to get admission in one of the best universities, and even topped the class in the first year — I got a full scholarship for the rest of the course. After, I was placed at my dream company, and life began to change for me and my family.
But fate had other plans.
It was the night of my 25th birthday and I was traveling back from work by train. I was standing by the exit door. That’s when two men suddenly came and tried to steal my bag which had a lot of money. One of them was holding me back and one was pulling my bag. A few seconds later, both of them jumped off the moving train — taking me along with them. They escaped but when I fell, my left leg got stuck in the tracks. 4 of the train’s coaches ran over me and only then someone pulled the chain.
I was taken to the hospital where the doctors told me that my leg was damaged beyond repair and had to be amputated. I was devastated
For the next month, I was bedridden. But eventually, I got a prosthetic leg and felt like there was a ray of hope. I even walked a few steps for the first time.

But once when I went to the doctor for a routine check-up — I even told him about some lingering pain that I had. But very casually he said that there were some staples that weren’t properly removed by them and were embedded in my leg. He even said, ‘You will be able to walk. The staples won’t harm you. As it is, you can’t run… so it does not matter.’
That’s when I realized that I’d never been privileged—I always had to work harder than others, so I had to do the same in this situation as well. I started working again and looked for ways to live ‘normally’.
Still, I felt like I wanted to do more, so I visited a rehab center that trained para-athletes—I decided that I didn’t want to just walk through life… I wanted to run and prove everyone wrong.
I began training and pushed my limits. In a few months, I was able to run! I even took part in a marathon, and ran for 21 kilometers! Losing a limb opened me to a new aspect of life, one that I enjoyed!

Image Credit: Chai Basket

Now, I run marathons on a regular basis and I’m also India’s first woman blade runner — I can’t even explain how it feels!
I know that at the core of it, there’s not a lot of ‘life’ that is in our control. The next minute you live can make or break your life. Your tomorrow can probably be the day that changed the course of your life. But instead of taking those unexpected circumstances in a negative way… understand that it is nothing else, but life-giving you a chance — to be a winner, all over again.”

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