International Day of Persons with Disabilities observed in Bhopal: City’s 42-yr-old e-rickshaw driver becomes wheelchair cricketer

Wheelchair cricket is very different from ordinary cricket.

Minal TomarUpdated: Sunday, December 04, 2022, 03:07 PM IST
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Prabhudayal Prajapati | FP Photo

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Against all the odds, a 42-year-old e-rickshaw driver with 60% disability in the lower body amazed everyone with his passion for cricket and became a wheelchaired cricketer five years ago.

Bhopal’s Prabhudayal Prajapati used his disability as his strength and shocked everyone as he turned his passion for cricket into reality and became a wheelchaired cricketer. Prabhudayal, 42, works as an e-rickshaw driver in Bhopal.

“Wheelchair cricket is very different from ordinary cricket. I’d say it is extraordinary, but it can’t feed my family. I can’t be a full-time cricketer even if I want to. I have to do something to feed my family,” he said.

“I am here for the tournament, so I can’t go back to work. It’ll be a financial burden as the only source of income that I have is my rickshaw. For a few days, there’ll be a financial crunch,” he added.

‘All govt does is praise us’

An international para fencing player-turned-wheelchair cricketer Deepak Sharma with 75% disability in his lower body, will be a part of Madhya Pradesh team. “No one knows about us and the government is doing nothing. All they do is praise us even when we win something. No one cares about how we are practising and surviving,” he added.

With No ramp on the cricket ground, Bhopal to witness its first wheel-chair cricket tournament

For the very first time Bhopal city will be witnessing a national level wheelchair cricket tournament at Old Campion cricket ground from December 4 to 8. A total of six teams will be participating in the tournament. On the one hand, the city is taking a step up towards inclusivity by organising such events, and on the other hand, there is no ramp for the wheel-chaired cricketers to get on the ground. The Free Press reporter witnessed that there are no ramps to get on the ground, and people picked up the cricketers along with their wheel-chair and put them on the ground on Saturday.

80 wheelchaired cricketers take out rally

A wheelchair rally was organised to mark the occasion on Saturday. About 80 wheelchaired cricketers, along with volunteers and officials took part.

The wheelchair cricketers told Free Press, "It's unfortunate that even on International Day of Disabled Persons, when we were on the road, all set to take out our rally, Home Minister Narottam Mishra was passing by in his car and he didn't stop."If it were some other ordinary athletes, they would have stopped, but sadly, this is the reality. The government is unconcerned about para athletes."

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