Pune, July 29: The Indian Armed Forces is full of tales of the valour of their brave personnel who made ultimate sacrifices in the service to their motherland. Apart from getting martyred, thousands of brave soldiers lose their body parts after getting injured on the battlefield and these are the times when soldiers fight a war on two fronts.
There have been numerous instances when our brave soldiers defied all odds and their unflinching spirit guided them to become a legend off the battlefield. One such name on this long list is that of Havildar Soman Rana - who is going to represent India in the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics.
The Tokyo-bound Paralympian, Rana, lost his right leg after suffering an injury in a landmine blast in December 2006. While many consider losing a body part as an end to their sporting career, Rana's second innings as a para-athlete began after the personal loss.
Rana (38) began training at the Army Paralympic Node in Pune and has already established himself as a reputed para-athlete in the international circuit. Hailing from a modest family in Shillong, Rana picked up shot-put as a para-sport and he'll be competing in the F-57 category in the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics 2020.
Havildar Soman Rana, a para athlete of the Army Paralympic Node, BEG & Centre, Kirkee has been selected for the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 in seated shot put, F 57 category.— PRO Shillong, Ministry of Defence (@proshillong) July 28, 2021
Soman Rana is an international para athlete and stands second in world rankings in his category. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/0WnuBpz40y
Rana, who was inducted into the Army Paralympic Node in 2017, is a second-ranked athlete internationally in this category. The node provides a platform for specially-abled soldiers to participate in parasports and develop a positive outlook on life.
"Since its raising in 2017, para-athletes of the node have won 28 international medals and 60 national medals. They have represented and won medals for India in Asian Para Games, World Military Games, World Para Championship and World Grand Prix events," said an Army statement issued through the Defence Public Relations Officer (PRO), Pune.
Earlier this year, Rana took a gold medal in the Tunis World Para Athletics Grand Prix and also bagged two yellow metals and a silver in the XIX National Athletics Para Championship.
"Soman Rana has done our country proud and is an inspiration for all the para-athletes in the Indian Army. He is a strong medal prospect to win a medal in Tokyo Paralympics," the release added.
Talking about how Para-athletes are prepared at the Army Paralympic Node, a senior Army officer claimed, "Loss of a limb is often accompanied by its psychological ramifications. At the Army Paralympic Node, scientifically-oriented efforts are taken towards the overall training and development of the athlete as per the international standards. The node is currently training several para-athletes with promising future prospects."