Sans one leg, still the world is his playground

 When Narayan Bhide, a practising lawyer in Mumbai, lost his leg to cancer in 1995, he decided to return to his native Mundaje, about 75 kms from Mangalore. The deadly disease did not deter him from continuing with his usual chores as he continued to swim, trek and even drive his Bolero, just like any other person. 

He set up a mini-hydel project of 4.5 KW capacity in 2005 after studying topography and river gauging for about six years. “Since there was no empirical data, I travelled the length and breadth of these forests and hilly areas with my artificial limb, before finalising the hydel project,” he recalled. Simultaneously, he started floriculture and has about 13,000 anthurium plants.

Active in the social network, Bhide came across a group, “The Challenging Ones”, in August 2013. It was started by Delhi-based Major D P Singh, who lost his leg in the Kargil war. “After getting in touch with him, he insisted that I take part in a marathon in Hyderabad. A group of 20 amputees took part in the marathon,” he said. 

Bhide got himself a blade (prosthesis) at the Dakshin Rehabilitation Centre in Hyderabad on his birthday, September 26. Subsequently, he practised running with the blade in Mundaje. Within two months, he took part in two marathons: 10 kms in Chennai on December 1 and 6 kms in Delhi on December 15. He will participate in a 5-km event in Mumbai scheduled for January 19.

“Interestingly, even the company which gave me the blade said it may not be possible to run, just like the doctors who gave me 18 months when cancer struck me. But, I am okay even after 19 years and I am able to run too,” he said. “Even if one person is inspired by me, it would be a great award for me.”

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