The 41-year-old has represented India at the Para Asian Games in 2014 and 2022 Hangzhou Para Asian Games in China
Inspiring Stories

Turning Disability Into Super-Ability: Para Athlete Suvarna Raj’s Story

From winning national medals to representing India at international events, Suvarna Raj has shown that disability is mental than physical. A para-athlete and an accessibility advocate, she continues to inspire others to achieve their dreams

Written By: | Edited By: | April 22, 2024 हिन्दी में पढ़े

New Delhi: A life full of surprises. That is how you describe her story if you have to do so in one line. People get married ever so often. But for Suvarna Raj it came as a big surprise. A bigger surprise was becoming a sportsperson. And bagging medals in every sport! And why did these come as such big surprises?

Mere pair bilkul latak gaye the,” recalls Suvarna recounting her life after polio. She was two years old when polio rendered both her legs useless. It left her paralysed from the waist down. For years, Survarna was confined to her house, undergoing numerous treatments.

Also Read: Samarth Heroes: Advocating Self-Confidence & Rights For People With Disabilities

Her childhood was a series of hospital and clinic visits. Her parents tried unconventional methods many of which saw her buried up to her neck in the ground. Then there were the electric shocks! Amidst these, there was a deeper pain–her father’s rejection. Unable to bear the burden of his daughter’s disability, he would often say,

Stay out of my site!

She was about six years old when was admitted to a hostel meant for children with disabilities.

I spent my academic years from Class 1 to 10 confined within the walls of various hostels. Those years were dedicated to studying, forming bonds with fellow students, and empathising with other children facing disabilities.

The stares and whispers from people followed her up to graduation. But Suvarna refused to accept this life of confinement. She completed her Bachelors in Commerce and Bachelors in Education.

In all, what remained constant was her love for sports, Sports became a passion.

From winning national medals in shot put, discus throw and javelin, to winning golds and silvers in powerlifting competitions, Survarna’s journey in athletics is remarkable.

Then came yet another pleasant surprise. Her marriage with para-athlete Pradeep. They met at one of the sports events and fell in love.

Survarna took a short break from active career when she became a mother. She returned a few years later, this time as a tennis player. The 41-year-old has represented India at the Para Asian Games in 2014 and 2022 Hangzhou Para Asian Games in China.

Suvarna also freelances as Access Auditor & Accessibility Consultant. She says,

Life may throw curveballs at you, but it’s up to you to hit them out of the field.

Also Read: Spicing Up Success: The Story Of Sumarty And Sadaf Masalay’s Rise In Kashmir

More Inspiring Stories

About The Initiative

Samarth by Hyundai in partnership with NDTV, is an initiative that seeks to promote inclusivity, change perceptions, and enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities.

This website follows the DNPA Code of Ethics

© Copyright NDTV Convergence Limited 2024. All rights reserved.