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Manasi Joshi: The heart-warming tale of star Indian Para-Badminton player

“You are the answer to your adversity” – Manasi Joshi

Truer words couldn’t have been spoken. The human mind is indeed complicated; it shows its most potential when faced with grave adversity. The more you fall, the more momentum you get to bounce back. With this spirit and unmatched resilience, Manasi Joshi, a para-badminton player, has risen like a phoenix from the depths of despair. Today, she is a true inspiration to not just para-athletes but each person who is struggling and shines like a beacon of hope illuminating those around her.

It is easier to accept your fate and give up. Stand up again and marching on takes efforts and unimaginable will power. Perhaps, this is the lesson Manasi Joshi life story teaches us all. A software engineer by profession, a tragic accident changed her life forever. Not the one to mull over her own sorrows, she found her confidence and eventually, tremendous success in badminton. Now, her mission is Tokyo Paralympics.

As she embarks on this dream mission, we take a deep dive into her incredible life.

Details
Full Name
Manasi Girishchandra Joshi
Age
30
Sport Category
Badminton [Standing Lower SL 3]
Date of Birth
11 June 1989
Height
171 cm
Weight
66 kg
Alma Mater
Atomic Energy Central Schools | University of Mumbai

Manasi Joshi Biography

Early Life

Manasi Joshi KreedOn
Credits: YourStory

A career in badminton, for that matter in sports, was never the plan for academically-inclined Manasi Joshi. Her father, a research scientist with the Homi Bhabha Research centre, used to play badminton with her just for fun. In her initial days, she received training from coaches Madhav Limaye and Vilas Damle. She never realised how skilled she was at the sport till she was selected in a summer badminton camp of Department of Atomic Energy through a talent hunt program.

Over the next few years, she went on to represent her school, college, and district as well in various badminton tournaments. She finished her graduation in electronics engineering from K.J. Somaiya College in Mumbai and set on a career path of a software engineer.

The Tragic Accident

Everything was working well for the young girl when a tragic accident changed her life completely. She lost her left leg in the unfortunate accident and had to take aid of an artificial leg. It took her almost five months to start walking again and get back to work.

In order to regain her physical strength and mental confidence back, Manasi decided to take the support of a sport – badminton. She did so on a shuttling friend, Neeraj George’s suggestion. Manasi couldn’t be more thankful to him. Little did she know that she would find her dream and calling through it.

International Career

Source: Hindustan Times

Soon Manasi started pursuing badminton seriously and added several medals and titles to her kitty. Her 1st breakthrough came in the year 2014 when she won silver in a National-level tournament. With that victory, she made it to her first international tournament in Spain. She received financial aid from Malcolm and Welspun Group.

Manasi competes in the ‘Standing Lower SL 3’ category in para-badminton. In this category, a player must play standing, and could have impairment in one or both lower limbs and poor walking/running balance.

Her first appearance at the Para-badminton World Championships 2015 was truly sparkling as she walked away with the silver medal. At the next edition of the league, in 2017, she won a bronze medal. She also won the bronze at the 2018 Asian Para Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In 2019, Manasi clinched the gold medal at the Para World Badminton Championship. With Tokyo Paralympics right around the corner, this win gave her a big boost. She defeated 3-time champion Parul Parmar to win the top honour at the tournament held in Basel, Switzerland.

“Everyone should learn from you how to overcome the difficulties and achieve success. Hats off to your courage. The country is proud of you!” Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was quoted by News18.

Turning Point at Gopichand Academy

It all started with a chance meeting. However, looking at Manasi’s passion and optimism, Pullela Gopichand was instantly ready to welcome her to his academy in Hyderabad. What followed was a painful yet fruitful regime. Through these difficult days, Manasi realized that they only shackles we have are mental ones; the human body is very much capable of adapting to different situations. This confidence and self-belief changed her life forever.

Manasi was blessed with a physio who took extra efforts to study her body structure and help her strengthen her balance. Her physical trainer at the Pullela Gopichand Academy, L. Raju, was an integral part of her journey along with Gopichand himself and coach J. Rajendra Kumar.

Achievements & Awards: Manasi Joshi

BWF Para-Badminton World Championships

Year Place Medal
2019 Basel, Switzerland Gold
2017 Ulsan, South Korea Bronze
2015 Stoke Mandeville, England Silver

Asian Championships – Para-Badminton

Year Place Medal
2016 Beijing, China Bronze

International Championships – Para-Badminton Women’s Singles

Year Place Medal
2018 Thailand Bronze

Asian Para Games – Women’s Singles

Year Place Medal
2018 Jakarta, Indonesia Bronze

Other Major Achievements

  • Sep 2017 – Japan Para-Badminton International 2017 – Gold (Women’s Doubles)
  • Mar 2017 – Spanish Para-Badminton International 2017 – Gold (SL3 Singles) and Bronze (Women’s Doubles)
  • Nov 2016 – Asian Para-Badminton Championships 2016 – Bronze (SL3 Singles) and Bronze (Women’s Doubles)
  • Jun 2016 – Irish Para-Badminton International 2016 – Silver (SL3 Singles) and Bronze (Women’s Doubles)
  • Dec 2015 – QNET National Para-Badminton Championship 2015 – Silver (Mixed Doubles) and Bronze (SU5 Singles)
  • Mar 2015 – V Spanish Para-Badminton International Open – Bronze (SU5 Singles)
  • Dec 2014 – Senior National Para-Badminton Championship – Silver (SL3 Singles)

Awards

  • Incredible Indian, Rotary International

Personal Life

Her father, Girish Joshi, has always supported Manasi through all her endeavours. In an interview with the Sportstar, she was quoted, “My father has been the greatest inspirational figure my life. His relentless pursuit of knowledge gave me the motivation to excel.” Manasi also has two siblings, brother Kunjan Joshi and sister Nupur Joshi, who also happens to be Manasi’s manager.

Manasi Joshi: The Vocal Advocate

Source: YouTube

Manasi has always spoken openly about various issues, using her fame to bring the spotlight on multiple topics. The road safety issue has been extremely close to her heart, as she could still be walking on both her legs if not for the dangerous road conditions and utter disregard for rules in our country. She has also advocated various struggles that people with disabilities face.

She has also spoken against the GST on prosthesis. Considering the already exorbitant price of the prosthesis, it makes sense to give some relief, as these need to be changed at least every 5 years. Manasi has to spend almost ₹ 25 lakh on her prosthesis. As a result, the athlete has also urged the government to increase funding for research in prosthesis.

Unknown Facts about Manasi Joshi

  • The electronic engineer was employed with Atos India as a Sr. Software Engineer. Recently, she shifted her residence to Ahmedabad and started working for Ahmadabad Cooperative Bank.
  • The greatest joy in life is to help others who are sailing through the same boat, have a better journey. With this perspective, Manasi delivers motivational speeches and spreads awareness about para-sports and disability at NGOs, corporate, business schools, and colleges.
  • Her inspiring journey has been featured on many blogs and publications such as Mumbai Mirror, Scoopwhoop, Huffington Post, etc.
  • Another relatively unknown but interesting fact about Manasi Joshi is that she is a trained scuba diver.
  • Manasi has also motivated millions through her on-radio stints for Radio Mirchi 98.3FM, Radio City 91.1 FM, 94.3 Radio One, and All India Radio.
  • Being You – India 1st first amputee calendar did a piece on Manasi through their project ‘Rising Above’.
  • Growing up, badminton legend Steffi Graf has been an inspiration for Manasi.
  • She has also graced several women’s magazines. She was featured in the Vogue as well.

  • Manasi is a big travel buff and makes it a point to visit at least 3 new places every year. She is also a passionate foodie and is up for experimenting with various local cuisines.

Social Media: Manasi Joshi

Super thrilled to be on a show I have been always watching on TV, hoping one day I'll be a contestant. This one is…

Posted by Manasi Joshi on Monday, 7 October 2019

 

Mamta Thatte
A passionate foodie, a versatile writer, and now a sports enthusiast, Mamta is always open to exploring new avenues. She has a vast experience in Web Content Writing, Editing, and Social Media Management. A self-confessed coffee and dark chocolate addict, she believes in following her heart and giving her 100% into everything she does.

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