Visually-impaired Amarjeet Singh (nicknamed as the 'Sporty Sikh') recently ran his 57th marathon race at the age of 60 with his partner Prasad Patil. The marathon was conducted at Pune for the National Ophthalmology Institute (NOI). He was the only visually-impaired participant while some of the others ran blindfolded with their partners.
Singh was 13 when he was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration. Till the age of 40 he became completely blind.
“At 13, I was diagnosed with macular degeneration — a leading cause for vision loss — and was completely blind by the time I was 40. That’s when I decided I had to do something not just for myself but for a cause. I took up running and in 2004 at the age of 48 ran 7 km at the first edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon,” Singh told The Indian Express.
He started running at the age of 49 and run various half and full marathons across the country. His target is to run 101 marathons. Speak of ambition!
Macular Degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.
Sachin Tendulkar talking with Sporty Sikh
He is also the only visually-challenged person to climb the Dolma La Pass 19,500 ft in 2009. He has won many awards till now like Marathi Gaurav Puraskar, M K Vihare trust (sports) in 2016 Anaam Prem (sports), star achiever 2015, NSCB Sportsman of the Year 2014.
It's people like him who continue to inspire other disabled persons that life can still be lived fully even if it takes away something from you.
Title image: baysidejournal