Disability affected her body, not determination

Shalini Saraswathi

Ace blade runner Shalini Saraswathi, who realised her dreams through determination and commitment, is an inspiration for all.

"When you come close to losing your life, you realise not to take things for granted," declared the blade runner, a quadruple amputee, who had won the bronze medal at the national-level para athletics held a year ago.

Shalini's talk was first in a series of lectures planned as run up to Manipal Marathon (being planned on February 2020) at MMMC Hall-MAHE in Manipal on Saturday.

Shalini, who aims at participating in the 100-metre and 200-metre sprints in 2020, said that disability never came in her way from achieving what she wanted in life.

"At times even I have cried and mourned my situation of being limbless. But crying your heart out and mourning is therapeutic which I have realised," she said and added that 'strength' is my core area.

However, it made me completely accept my disability after three years of the tragedy.

She said, "I feel great while I run. It gives me motivation. I want to  participate in marathons across the world and for now, it is all about standing up on my own legs and taking one step at a time."

In 2013, pregnant with her first child and returning from her marriage  anniversary celebration in Cambodia, Shalini developed a mild fever. But the fever soon worsened and Shalini was diagnosed to have developed an acute case of 'Rickettsial with Morts', a rare bacterial infection.

Shalini’s life turned upside down over the next few months. She remained in the ICU of a local hospital, where she lost her baby, something that Shalini considers as the biggest loss of her life.

After two years of struggle, she finally gathered the capacity to run half marathon at TCS 10K race in Bengaluru.

Shalini said that she is a big supporter of organ donation.

"After this life, the body parts will not help us anyway," she said and added that it makes no difference for her to offer prayers at temples or churches.

Shalini is also grateful to her family and friends, who are her pillar of strength in her ups and downs.

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