In today's fast-paced sports arena where physically fully fit people with all resources find it difficult to make a niche for themselves, 18-year-old Shradha Vaishnav -- who was born with incurable hearing and speech impairment -- showed where there is a will, there is a way.
Defying all odds in life, Shradha Vaishnav made her way to the Chhattisgarh regular cricket team.
"When she was 13, Shradha used to watch cricket with her younger brother. One day, she said she wanted to bowl. I took her to a cricket coach who put her in practice sessions. Within a few months, he said she could become a good spin bowler," the Times of India quoted Shradha's father Ramesh Vaishnav as saying.
Shradha trained at Foundation by Champions academy in Bilaspur. She did not start off as a spinner, but as a medium pacer. Later she became a leg-break bowler, her coach at the academy, Mohan Singh Thakur, said.
"She has transformed her disability into strength. She focused mainly on her bowling - she was a medium-pacer to begin with, but now she bowls fast leg-breaks," Mohan said.
She has become a successful player, which has helped her get selected for Chhattisgarh cricket team. This is a huge landmark for Shradha and a victory for physically challenged players as well. After learning about her stunning story, many more girls have joined the academy as well.
"Her extraordinary achievement has inspired many. After hearing her success story, 15 young girls have joined our cricket academy," Anil Thakur, Shradha's trainer, said.
Moreover, the recently concluded Rio Paralympics gave us enough examples that one should never say never, and Shradha has taken it even further. Shradha belongs to the league of athletes who believe nothing is impossible. She can be an inspiration for people who love the game, but are held back for being physically challenged.