Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently had a heartwarming meeting with 16-year-old para archer Sheetal Devi, who is a remarkable athlete. Sheetal Devi is the world’s sole female international para athlete who competes using her feet to shoot arrows. She accomplished a remarkable feat by winning three medals at the Hangzhou Para Asian Games.
In a heartwarming moment, PM Modi blessed Sheetal with a hand on her head. “Blessings filled with faith,” captioned Minister of Railways of India Ashwini Vaishnaw.”
विश्वास से भरा आशीर्वाद। pic.twitter.com/MN9VD00tKR
— Ashwini Vaishnaw (@AshwiniVaishnaw) November 2, 2023
Incredible Journey: Sheetal Devi’s Inspiring Triumph
Sheetal Devi, a remarkable para-athlete hailing from the remote village of Loi Dhar in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district, has achieved the incredible. She defied the odds by securing multiple Gold and a Silver medal for India at the Hangzhou Para Asian Games. Born with the rare congenital disorder Phocomelia, which affects limb development, Sheetal’s journey from her mountainous homeland to the international sports arena is a true testament to the unbreakable human spirit.
Her inspiring journey began when the Indian Army noticed her talent at a youth sports event in Kishtwar in 2019. Initially, the plan was to provide her with a prosthetic arm, but when that didn’t pan out, she was introduced to archery. Despite initial challenges, Sheetal showed unwavering determination, practicing tirelessly for months until she could properly handle a bow.
Sheetal Devi started doing archery in 2022. She does it in a unique way, using her feet to handle the bow and arrow, similar to a famous archer named Matt Stutzman, who doesn’t have arms.
She sits on a chair and uses her right leg to raise the bow and aim. She pulls the string back with her right shoulder. She has a small device made by her coach that she holds in her mouth to release the arrow.
Even Prime Minister Modi congratulated Sheetal Devi when she won two gold medals and a silver medal in her archery competitions.
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) November 2, 2023