Mother’s Day Special: Meet Moms Who Shaped Career Of Differently-Abled Achievers

Mother’s Day Special: Meet Moms Who Shaped Career Of Differently-Abled Achievers

Their moms protected them from barbs, motivated them.

SmitaUpdated: Sunday, May 12, 2024, 12:17 AM IST
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Mother’s Day Special: Meet Moms Who Shaped Career Of Differently-Abled Achievers | Unsplash

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Pillar of strength, beacon of hope, protector, problem-solver and motivator: These are mothers of three differently-abled achievers, including Satendra Singh Lohiya, Sushma Patel and Rajesh Verma. Lohiya from Gwalior is Asia's first para swimmer to cross the English Channel.

He is also a recipient of Padma Shri and Vikram Award.  Visually-impaired Sushma Patel from Damoh is the first captain of India’s maiden blind women’s cricket team and Rajesh Verma from Rajgarh, who can hardly walk, is an international model.  On the eve of Mother’s Day, they spoke to Free Press about how their mothers shaped their destiny. 

Excerpts: 

Satendra Singh Lohiya, 36, para swimmer with mother

Satendra Singh Lohiya, 36, para swimmer with mother |

Can’t describe what mom did for me’   

Mothers of special children have to make special efforts, work harder than others to bring up their children. My mother Narayani Devi had to do that. That was difficult but even more difficult was facing the barbs that society hurled at her. She was told that it was because of her sins in her last birth that she had given birth to a son with disability. She is unlettered. But for me, there is no one better in the world than her. I got more than my fair share of love from her. While motivating me, she also ensured that I never felt inferior to anyone else. I cannot describe what all she has done for me.   

-Satendra Singh Lohiya, 36, para swimmer 

Sushma Patel, 21, Cricketer with mother

Sushma Patel, 21, Cricketer with mother |

‘Maa kept me motivated’

Meri maa bahut pyari hai. It is because of her that I am what I am today. When I was six, I lost vision in my left eye following an accident. Everybody called me ‘kani’ even to my face. But my mother Laxmi Rani Patel gave me courage. She taught me to ignore insulting comments and never react to them. She has never gone to school. But she ensured that I and my five siblings study. She was repeatedly advised not to waste money on educating girls. Even my grandmother was opposed to it. But my mother never gave up. Gradually, I began losing vision in my left eye, too. She, however, ensured that I stayed motivated. She took special care of me but never pampered me.  

-Sushma Patel, 21, Cricketer

Rajesh Patel, 25, Model with mother

Rajesh Patel, 25, Model with mother |

‘Regained mobility due to mother’s efforts’

About five years ago, I suffered a spinal injury after falling from the third floor of a building in Bhopal, where I was studying. The lower half of my body was completely paralysed. In those hours and days and weeks of gloom and grief, my mother Chanda Bai was the only beacon of hope. She boosted my morale. She consoled me. She told me that no matter what, I should not stop trying to succeed. She spent whole nights helping me do the prescribed exercises. It was because of her that I regained some mobility.  I am divyang, but I do not feel depressed or sad. I know my mother is with me. Despite my disability, I have achieved success in the field of modelling. And no one is happier than my mother.    

-Rajesh Patel, 25, Model  

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