“It is very easy to QUIT… majority do so… I, however, would like to TRY till my last breath, even if I fail. I know it is hard but then I am chosen by God himself for these challenges so why should I bother. Let HIM only worry about the result. Jai Hind!”
— Major DP Singh.
I heard about Major DP Singh during the OROP (One Rank One Pension) media coverage. The OROP scheme is a long standing demand of the armed forces for a uniform pension to all defence personnel who retire at the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement. Major DP Singh is part of the committee that aims to resolve the issues related to OROP.
I spotted Major Singh on 26 July 2015, the day India proudly marks as Kargil Vijay Diwas. Major Singh undertook an 11-km run in Delhi to support the larger cause of OROP, representing many faceless soldiers who live and die fighting for the nation. So what’s so inspiring about Major DP Singh? There are definitely many more individuals who run, walk, paint, sketch, or sing for a cause.
Major DP Singh is different. For one, he is a Kargil war survivor, India’s first amputee marathon runner, a blade runner, and a Limca record holder. This is his awe- inspiring story.
India was at war with Pakistan in Kargil in 1999. A 25 year old Singh was knocked by a mortar that ripped his vital organs and tissues. Lying on the battle ground in a pool of blood he was taken to the field hospital where he was declared dead by the doctors. A fighter in true spirit and soul, Singh defied this and overpowered death.
Months in the Artificial Limb Centre of the military hospital, and losing all his body mass, Singh was told by the doctors that his leg would have to be amputated. But this didn’t deter him. He was alive and that was important to him.
Where running could be tough for many of us, it could become excruciating for someone with a prosthetic limb. Major Singh though has come a long way from his first marathon that was marked with pain and bleeding.
After falling a million times, he has picked himself up and, as of today, has over 20 marathons to his credit.
No wonder he has rightfully earned himself the title of the “Indian Blade Runner,” apart from earning an entry into the Limca Book of Records.
Major Singh’s story does not end here. This Kargil war soldier who defied death and became India’s first amputee marathon runner, also works towards inspiring many more lives.
Apart from supporting the OROP cause, he runs an NGO called ‘Challenging One.’
The organization guides many other physically challenged individuals. Singh personally meets them, their families and friends and provides them with the hope to go ahead in life.
What is awe-inspiring about Major Singh is that he hasn’t stopped at just ‘himself.’ He has gotten up to stand for the welfare of many others. Most of us dont really attempt to do it. Major DP Singh is an inspiration to every one of us. Yes, it has taken him 14 years to start running, but his never-say-die spirit and raring-to-go attitude are what got him back up on his feet. He now wishes to represent India at the Olympics.