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Son of the soil to represent the country at Asian Para Games

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Son of the soil to represent the country at Asian Para Games

Squadron Leader Rajkumar Herojit Singh, an Indian Air Force (IAF) officer and our very own son of the state of Manipur, is representing our country at the 4thAsian Para Games scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China, from October 22 to October 28. In a Para Swimming event 100 m breaststroke, he will compete against the rest of the Asian nations. He is already a national champion, has won many medals, and has created multiple national records at various national para swimming championships. He has also represented India at several international championships, including the prestigious World Para Swimming Championships held in Madeira, Portugal, last year.
Squadron Leader Rajkumar Herojit Singh, fondly called ‘Hero ‘ among his colleagues, is the youngest son of R K Muktasana Singh and R K (O) Ibetombi Devi, residents of Singjamei Mathak Chongtham Leikai, Imphal-West. He had always been an all-rounder since his childhood days. After his 12th exam, he got a government seat in an engineering college, but he decided to join the prestigious National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakvasla, Pune. He did exceedingly well at NDA. Inter alia, he was appointed as a Battalion Cadet Adjutant, awarded with the ‘Best Cadet in Physical Training’ award, the ‘Sports Insignia’ for excellence in sports, and the ‘Blazer’ in swimming.
Later, at Air Force Academy, he was appointed ‘Senior Under Officer’, stood 3rd in flying in stage-1 flying training, was awarded the ‘Most Accomplished Trainee’ award, and finally got the Fighter stream. During his stage-2 fighter flying training at the Fighter Training Wing, Hakimpet, he met with an aircraft accident in which he ejected out of the aircraft. He managed to survive but sustained a spinal cord injury that paralysed his lower limbs, rendering him in a wheelchair. But this did not deter him or his will to don the IAF uniform. Later, the IAF and Hero made history when he was retained back in service and commissioned in the Indian Air Force. Hero is perhaps the first person in the world to ever get commissioned while in a wheelchair. Though he cannot fly anymore, he is still serving the nation by serving in the ground-duty branch of the IAF.
Despite his medical condition, he prefers to lead an active life. He involves himself in various sports and adventure activities like swimming, wheelchair marathons, wheelchair table tennis, wheelchair badminton, sea swimming, and open water diving. He has, in fact, successfully completed an Advanced Open Water Diving course. Later, he picked up para swimming as his professional sport in 2017, and thereafter, there has been no looking back.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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