India’s para-badminton Ace Manasi Joshi continues to inspire fellow para-athletes around the world. From setting examples to breaking stereotypes, Joshi has been a trailblazer ever since she took up the sport following an accident in 2011.
She grabbed headlines last year by winning the World Championships in Basel, beating compatriot and world number one Parul Parmar in the women’s singles SL3 final.
Recently, The TIME magazine featured Joshi as the ‘Next Generation Leader’, a first for a para-athlete. The occasion soon turned into a double delight as the star shuttler got a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll modeled to her likeness on the occasion of International Day of Girl Child on October 11.
“I am glad I got a voice because of my sport. I have been fortunate enough to use this voice to raise awareness about prosthetics, road safety, disability, and inclusion. To me, I am honored beyond measure to be a part of TIME 2020 Next Generation Leaders and also to make it to the cover of TIME Asia,” said Joshi as per a media release shared by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).
“I personally think that seeing a disabled athlete on the cover of TIME will change a lot of perceptions surrounding disability and para-sports in India as well as Asia,” said the world number two, who lost her left leg in a road accident, having been hit by a truck.
With accomplishments comes responsibilities and the 31-year-old acknowledges that she would need to handle it with care and use her time and energy for the betterment of self and society.
“I hope that I keep inspiring the upcoming generation with my achievements. I think I will keep on playing my sport and speaking up about the importance of inclusion and diversity in various forums.
“To be the first para-athlete to be recognized in this list as an advocate of rights for persons with disability in India feels like a great achievement. I am glad to be able to contribute to the paralympic movement in India through my sport and voice it is providing me,” said Ace Manashi Joshi.
Ace Manashi Joshi also emphasized that hard work, ambition, and perseverance are the most important things which a person requires in order to be successful.
“My message to young girls will be ‘Do not listen to anyone who says that you can’t do something. You have to dream and give it all because dreams do come true’,” said Joshi. (IANS)