Was “Declared Dead” in an Army Hospital in July 1999 during the Kargil war. 14 years hence he returned as India’s first Blade runner. He showed the world how the spirit in a true warrior can make a handicap into a Handy- capable person.
In 1999, during the Kargil war, a shell exploded next to Major D P Singh, and he was almost shredded to pieces. When he was brought into the hospital, the doctors at first glance declared him dead, and it was just a stroke of luck that one doctor who was present on the spot refused to give up on him and managed to resuscitate him. He eventually survived, and underwent several surgeries, but his leg had to be amputated. An ordinary person may have been shattered by this, but then, Major D P Singh is no ordinary person. He was determined not be be treated like a victim. He was determined to give a new purpose to his life, which he did, and how !
After being fitted with his “blade” he took up the challenge that life had thrown his way, and slowly got into shape, and went on to become India’s first Blade Runner. Major DP Singh,has been taking part in Delhi’s half marathon every year, becoming an inspiration to all war veterans.
Every marathon that Major DP Singh has run has helped improve his timing. Since his debut at the Delhi half
marathon where he took 3 hours and 40 minutes, to November’s half marathon which he clocked in 2 hours and 40 minutes, the Kargil veteran has come a long way. From being declared dead at the Akhnoor hospital in the LoC to forming a support group for trauma victims, the man has been an example of courage under fire.
“The moment they said they want to amputate my leg I felt a strength from within. Now I want to lead by example and make everybody realise that it’s all in the mind,” Major Singh said.
Major Devender Pal Singh’s journey from soldier during the Kargil War to marathon runner who overcame all odds – even cheated death – is stuff for celluloid.Running a marathon and representing India at the Olympics are on top of the agenda for this 37-year-old. “The day the doctors informed me that I had lost my leg, I took it as a challenge. Living like a physically challenged person was not acceptable to me,” Singh said.
“When the doctors told me about the amputation, the first thing I told myself was now I will show the world how disabled people live. I was sure I will never compromise the way I lived. It was difficult for me to even walk initially. But over years, my mind and body found alternatives to work around the restrictions I was put through. Today, I can walk normally; my gait is as good as any normal person’s. Yes, it took me 14 years to be able to start running,” says Singh.