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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bhaag DP bhaag: India’s blade runner seeks support to buy an imported ‘leg’ | Major D P Singh's right leg amputated after getting injured in Op Vijay

India's lone blade runner Major (retd) D P Singh during one of his training sessions.
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: India’s lone blade runner, Major (retd) D P Singh needs another ‘leg’ to run. With a dream to bag a medal for the country in the next Paralympics, the 39-year-old former soldier, once declared dead, is currently seeking support from well-wishers to buy a ‘leg.’ An imported right leg.
Fourteen years ago (July 15, 1999) Major Singh was hit by an enemy mortar while undertaking an attack mission as part of Op Vijay, during Kargil War. He had splinters all over his body, damaging his liver, ribs, elbow, intestine, ears, bladder, thighs and legs. He was among the ‘brought dead’ category and was being taken to the mortuary. As luck would have it, a doctor observed some movements and the Major survived. But three days later, his right leg had to be amputated.
“It’s a miracle that I am alive today. Now, I have another mission. I am known to people as India’s only blade runner. But, I want to graduate from running to sprinting. I want to sprint the 100 and 200 meters. I have fallen in love with speed,” Major Singh told Express over phone from Delhi.
His biggest challenge today is his prosthesis fitment, which do not support him while at great speeds. “I lost a chance to go to London Olympics due to lack of good ‘legs.’ After every marathon, I am remain injured for many days. During extreme activity like running, there are always chances that the amputated stump might get damaged if the socket comes out. Hence I decided to go for an imported one,” says Singh.
Major Singh's story impressed Kevin Carol, world's leading prosthetic expert from Hanger Inc., US. Kevin's most popular 'customer' is a dolphin for which he had made a prosthetic tail. Kevin has now offered one prosthesis free of cost. “It is a lifetime opportunity to have a custom-made one. I am keen to have a spare one as a precaution. During this US trip, I have to take care of airfare, boarding, lodging as well as the cost of the spare prosthesis. I will leave for the US on July 20 and will be at Oklahoma City for 25 days. My visa formalities are through,” he said.
The Major, who served the Indian Army for 10 years, is now hoping to raise Rs 12 lakh for his mission. “I want to take part in the Hyderabad Marathon in August. I hope I can run there with my new leg. Serving the Army was my dream, but it unfortunately got cut short. Now, I want to run. But then you need good legs and in my case, I need three – one always as a spare, just in case,” Major Singh said.
Interestingly, the Major has also started a group -- The Challenging Ones -- where he is inspiring the amputees to move from disabled to doers. There are over 350 members in this group from all across India.

TO HELP DP
Name: Devender Pal Singh
Bank account number: 016301002194
Bank name: ICICI Bank Ltd
IFSC Code: ICIC0000163
Email ID: majordpsingh@gmail.com
Mobile: 09650960322


Copyright@The New Indian Express

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