City marathon goes extra mile for differently-abled | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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City marathon goes extra mile for differently-abled

Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai
Jan 11, 2012 02:17 AM IST

It’s been a marathon effort for Satyaprakash Tiwari. The 45-year-old has been part of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon since 2005 when the wheelchair category was first introduced.

It’s been a marathon effort for Satyaprakash Tiwari. The 45-year-old has been part of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon since 2005 when the wheelchair category was first introduced.

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HT Image

This year, Tiwari, who lost legs after a railway accident at the age of 16, will manoeuver his wheelchair for 4.3 km instead of a 2.5 km stretch. “Wheelchair category participants had been demanding an increase in the distance of their run. They were the only participants who never reached Marine Drive and we are giving them the opportunity this time. They will be participating by the Bay for the first time,” said Vivek Singh, joint managing director, Procam International Limited, which organises the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon.

The number of participants in the category has grown from the initial 25 to 30 to more than 200 last year. Also, there will be two categories for the wheelchair run: Those who are physically stronger will complete the 4.3 km run, others can stop after 2.5 km.

Singh said that the wheelchair event could not be made a competitive one as that require participants to use professional, self-propelled racing wheelchairs which are very expensive.

Excited about the challenge of a longer route, Tiwari has been practicing everyday for the event. “Earlier the government hardly paid attention to paralympic sports. But the Mumbai marathon helped me showcase what we can do to prove to society that we exist and we also count. A lot of people do not even know that there are sports for the disabled. I want to change this notion,” said Tiwari, who runs a general store in Ghatkopar.

Tiwari has also participated in the Asian Games, the World Badminton Championship and the National Games. He has also won several laurels for the country in badminton, table tennis, shot put and the javelin throw.

“I wait for the Mumbai marathon for the entire year. I hope I can encourage others, seeing that I have myself to compete against. Though I do have an escort, which is mandatory, I generally do not allow him to push me. For me, everyone who participates in this category is a winner,” Tiwari added.

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