Hyderabad: Amputation presents multi-directional challenges. In most cases, amputees experience not only the obvious loss of a limb or limbs, but also face many emotional and psychological difficulties. However, while many amputees suffer from anxiety, stress or even depression, Hyderabad-based adventure sports junkie Shekar Goud did not let the loss of limbs come in the way of his dreams.
In an unfortunate accident, Shekar lost two of his limbs in 2006. He shares, “I had an electrical accident after which my right arm and left leg were amputated. I even lost the toes and much of the skin of my right foot.” Shekar was only 18 at the time, and shares that he faced many emotional challenges after returning home from hospital.
“People who came to see me showed pity. They said things like, ‘what will happen to your life now?’ and that I would have to depend on someone else forever. These things hurt me a lot. What I wanted at that time was strength and support. I felt negative listening to those people,” says Shekar, who then decided to concentrate only on the positives in life. “I thought, at least I am alive after the accident. I can’t waste the life that God has given me.”
Shekar started running daily, and that helped him sort out his thoughts. His first 10k marathon was the Airtel 10k Run in 2014. Since then, he has participated in several marathons and duathlons. He also cycled for 4,100 km, from South India to North India in just 58 days. He trekked for 84 km to reach the base camp of Mount Everest, and recently trekked Dayara Bugyal in Uttarakhand.
Although he hasn’t had any formal training in mountaineering, the 30-year-old has scaled Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Russia, Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and Mount Kosciuszko, mainland Australia’s highest mountain. Interestingly, he is the first and only triple amputee in the world to do so, and has no intentions to stop.
“I am preparing to summit Friendship Peak in May this year, which is in the Pir Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh. I have been wanting to go on this trek for quite some time now, but the pandemic stopped me from going last year. While on the trek I will also be crossing Hanuman Tibba and Deo Tibba.”
As part of training, Shekar runs for around 15 km daily. He also does cycling whenever he finds time. “I love cycling. In fact, I have cycled through certain mountainous terrains as well. Whenever I get some time, I go cycling for 100 km or so,” he shares.
Working at Pranaam Hospital in Hyderabad, Shekar however, has been struggling for funding in recent times. “Initially several people crowd-funded me to undertake various treks. Although my company has been very supportive, I haven’t been getting as much funds now. People either don’t entertain my requests, or just ask what’s in it for them. I do not have any answer to that, so I just drop the matter. But, I hoped people would be more sensitive.”
Having faced many challenges as an amputee, Shekar shares that he wishes no one should ever give up on their dreams. “I have seen some really tough times, but was focussed on what I want from life. I know people slip into depression, many even commit suicide, but I feel if you really wish for something to happen and work towards it, the universe will help you. So, don’t give up,” concludes Shekar, who is preparing hard to conquer the mighty Everest someday.
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