History maker Parathlete Bhavina Patel, the future of Gujarat, was given a grand welcome at the Ahmedabad airport on Friday evening. She clinched silver medal at the Class 4 table tennis game held at Tokyo Paralympics 2020.
Thousands – friends, fans, relatives – gathered at the airport to greet Patel, catch a glimpse of her and if get a chance, also click a selfie with the ace player. Jubilations had already commenced when Patel had bagged the silver medal. But on Friday the celebrations were a notch higher as people were seen dancing, playing bands, and waving the tricolour as Patel smiled and took in the adulations from those around her.
Patel gave India its first medal in the women’s singles in the Class-4 category in table tennis. Born in Sundhiya, Mehsana, Patel completed her school education there with the support of her family. It was not until she came to Ahmedabad for an ITI course from Blind People’s Association that she tried her hands on the sport that got her a medal. Her family including her husband Nikul Patel have supported her through all the ups and downs.
Patel was showered with congratulations from all over the country and more so by her friends, neighbours and relatives in Ahmedabad. It has also been announced that Patel will receive an incentive of Rs 3 crore under the Divyang Khel Pratibha Protsahan Puraskar Yojana of the state government.
She contracted polio when she was just one year old. At that time, her family could barely manage the financial means to pay for her treatment. But Patel’s struggle and dream to always touch the sky, is a benchmark and source of inspiration for the millennials.
(Photo and video courtesy: Mayur Bhatt)