On December 24, 2011, a woman – a test engineer with Infosys – fell out of a running train while fighting off miscreants who were trying to snatch her belongings. One of her legs got trapped in the tracks in such a way that the nerves were damaged. The leg had to be amputated.
Doctors said the woman would be able to walk with a prosthetic, but won’t be able to run. The woman, however, became a Paralympic athlete. That woman is Kiran Kanojiya, also known as the Lady Blade Runner of India.
Kiran chose not to become a slave of circumstances, and decided to start her life afresh.
It was initially difficult for Kiran to walk using a prosthetic leg – of the kind known as Flex-Foot Cheetah – let alone run.
But Kiran drew inspiration from other amputees and started running short distances of 5 and 10 kilometres, gradually moving up to 21 kilometres – the length of a half-Marathon.
She completed the Hyderabad half-Marathon in 3:30 hours, the Delhi event in 2:58 hours, and clocked 2:44 hours at the Mumbai edition.
The blades don’t make running easy. In fact the pressure of the blade on the stump causes excruciating pain. Kiran credits her parents and Infosys for supporting her in her time of need. It was Infosys which helped her with the prosthetic foot.
Kiran is an inspiration to her friends and colleagues. Her zeal for life and determination to move ahead deserves our respect.