A person with physical disability looses all hopes in life as it proves very disadvantageous for him. But with sheer grit, determination, dedication, perseverance and hard work a person can convert his disability into ability. An Indian hero named Venkateswaran proved that disability is just a state of mind. He is a born star who did not let his disability hold him back in any way.  He made the country feel proud after winning back to back two World Disability Snooker open held at Gloucester in 2015 & 2016 organised by World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) under the aegis of World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association (WPBSA).

Venkateswaran popularly known as Raja in his circle was born and brought up in Matunga, Mumbai and was leading a very healthy & joyous life. Life was easy at that time and was filled with lots of hopes but all his hopes got shattered when at the age of six, he met with a freakish accident and lost his right eye completely. 
It was the age when just like any other kid, he was enjoying the real colors of the nature. As if it was not enough to dampen the spirits of the young kid, he suffered polio in his right leg which made him completely disheartened and shattered. 

As it is often said that it takes real gut and passion for a person to be successful. Likewise, he never lost hope and overcame all the obstacles that came his way. His family too played a vital role in giving him the confidence and made him realized that destiny must have stored something great for him. 
So, with the encouragement of his parents, Raja gradually started taking keen interest in playing different sports. After few years, he decided to develop his skill in Cue Sports and Table Tennis. As it is truly said that ‘Hard work pays off’ and hence with his true determination and hard work he was ranked eighth in Billiards in India in 2012 & ranked 17th in the World in 2016. His achievements did not take a full stop here rather he started playing table tennis at state level as a junior in his teenage.

When WDBS announced the first World Disability Snooker open tournament in South West Snooker academy in Gloucester in October 2015, Venkateswaran decided to go there to compete but it required financial support for which he started searching for sponsorship and luck favoured this brave heart and he was sponsored by IDBI Federal Life Insurance Co. Ltd.  and he did not disappoint them as he won the Gold Medal in the competition under his category of 4-5.
After winning the Gold his determination got more strength and with Polio affected right leg he started walking 12 km per day to get his weight lessened. This sheer courage is a salute to the true champion as he reduced his weight by 44 kg (a fact which is hard to digest even for abled person). For this winning, he was awarded with the gold medal. The medal was presented to him in front of packed crowd during the semi-final of a professional event. After that he set his goal to win the gold medal in the next year “World Snooker Open” and since then he started practicing very hard.

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Venkateswaran Subramanian had decided to excel in sports by turning his disability into ability and participated in the second World Disability Snooker championship from 14th to 16th October 2016 at the same venue organized by WDBS. The tournament included players with physical disabilities who were either ambulant or wheel chair players.
With the help of his sponsorer IDBI Federal Life Insurance Co. Ltd., he topped the standings in the Open Disability Snooker Championship; Group 4-5, beating Adam Leighton, Vishal Malhotra and David Moore. Raja made 4 breaks above 40 and a number of breaks above 30, which was an achievement in itself. In the Group A standings, Raja played 4 matches, he won 11 frames and lost one. In the final, he defeated David Moore in straight set of frames 2-0. 
As we all know Snooker and other Cue Sports game involves hand-eye coordination and complete concentration, the feat achieved by this Super Human person was absolutely astonishing and superlative.

Despite such an amazing achievements he didn’t receive any accolade nor any reward from our Sports Ministry which has a budget allocation of approx. Rs.  2000 Crores in the Central Budget to promote the players and the game. It is high time now for Sports Ministry to come up and give recognition to such players from different sports those are bringing laurels to the country and also they must financially support them for their future so that they can concentrate on the sports only and bring many more golds in World’s top events.
Simultaneously, I urge the media to cover these reports quite often as it will not only give them recognition but will going to act as a strong motivation to the upcoming youth who are abled or disabled but carry a true spark to do wonders in their life as all sports are equal in terms of skill, courage and stamina.
Currently, RAJA is playing table tennis and wish to be in the team for Paralympics Table Tennis event so that he can bring more medals for INDIA.

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I GIVE STANDING OVATION TO THIS SUPER HUMAN. REALLY, HE IS A TRUE INSPIRATION TO THE YOUTH. GO RAJA GO.  I also admire the sponsorship done for this cause by IDBI Federal Life Insurance Co. Ltd. RKG announced an award of Rs. 51000/- to Raja.


This type of dedication and commitment reminds me of Károly Takács (Hungarian Shooter) (21 January 1910 – 5 January 1976) who was the first shooter to win two Olympic gold medals in the 25 meter rapid fire pistol event, both with his left hand after his right hand was seriously injured. He is the third known physically disabled athlete to have competed in the Olympic Games after George Eyser in 1904 and Olivér Halassy in 1928, followed by Liz Hartel in 1952 and Neroli Fairhall in 1948.


Written By : Ravindra Kumar Gupta