Kartik Aaryan recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce the end of the first shooting schedule of his upcoming film based on India’s first Paralympic gold medallist — Murlikant Petkar.
Here is all you need to know about the inspiring life of the gold medalist.
Murlikant’s career began in the Boys Battalion of the Indian Army, which saw him rise through the ranks to reach the war grounds of Pakistan in 1965.
He recalls, “I was out for tea in the afternoon when a whistle was blown to indicate an aerial attack. I tried to rush back to my room but the firing had already started.”
Murlikant was severely wounded in the firing and run over by an army vehicle, due to which Murlikant now lives with an acquired disability.
While life threw this massive challenge at him, Petkar did not give up. Instead, he decided to follow his passion for sports and swimming.
“Swimming gave a new meaning to my life. I trained harder and participated in the Paralympics after doing well at the national level,” he tells Procaffenation.
During his tenure in the Army, he even became the state champion in table tennis, javelin throw, shot put, discus throw and archery.
“There was not much support for persons with disabilities in the society but we continued to work hard and participate in events as we wanted to prove that we could represent the country and win medals. I always believed in myself,” he revealed to Paralympic.org.
Murlikant went on to participate in the 1968 Paralympics and reached the finals in javelin throw and slalom racing.
In 1972, he became India’s first paralympics gold medallist. He also won a gold medal and set a world record for swimming 50 m in 37.33 seconds at the 1970 Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In 2018 he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India.
“I had never thought I would get a Padma. I don’t know who nominated me for this honour. But I do believe that this award would inspire other para-athletes,” he told The New India Express.