Famous basketball coach in America John Wooden once said: “If you are afraid to fail you will never do the things you are capable of doing”. Meet Kiran Kanojia, an Infosys employee from Hyderabad who encountered a horrible, life-altering tragedy that could break anyone’s spirit but her iron-like zeal to bounce back was exceptional.
It was in December 25, 2011, Kiran was on her way back home to Faridabad where her parents ran a small business of ironing clothes on a cart. It was her birthday and she was excited to celebrate it with her family when her train ride turned into a nightmare. Kiran put on her backpack and sat by the door of the train and that is when two boys attempting to snatch her bag pushed her out of the moving train. As she fell on the tracks and screamed, the train also came to a halt. Kiran tried to move but she was unable to do so as she couldn’t feel her left leg.
She was carried to the hospital where she came to know that her left leg will amputated. Speaking to Femina regarding the whole incident, she said, “I was thinking I should be receiving greetings on my birthday, not a consent form to approve an amputation on my own limb. But I signed it.”
For a person, it is difficult to mentally overcome such situation, but Kiran showed fighting spirit on her arrival to Hyderabad six months after the accident and amputation. She did not let the incident affect her life and wrestled her way back to take control of things.
The Dakshin Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) also came forward to support the 28-year-old. Mohana Gandhi, a consultant from DRC, got her prosthesis leg and formed a group of amputee runners. Even before wearing the prosthesis leg, Kiran was unsure it could even support her. “It was so light, compared to my other prosthesis but Mohana sir helped me take the first steps. From almost the very first day, I started to run. The first time I ran, it hurt very badly. But slowly, as a group, we started venturing further.”
After getting the prosthesis leg, she never stopped to look back at life. In 2014, Kiran attempted her first marathon i.e Hyderabad Airtel Marathon and bagged her first medal. She clocked 3:30 hours in her maiden run. She bettered it by 15 minutes in her second event, at the CRPF Army event, again in Hyderabad, and later completed a 2:58 hour finish at the Delhi half-marathon in November that year.
As she continued to run in various marathons, she gained confidence and now her immediate goal is to participate in the Paralympic Games and make the country proud.