The journey from deathbed to India’s first blade runner, the journey from fighting for India in the Kargil war to becoming an inspiration- this retired Major of Indian Army Force is today striving hard to change the attitude of people from feeling helpless to fighting out any circumstances. Around 40 shrapnel pieces embedded still inside his various body parts, this marathon runner is full of energy and smiles. Presenting to you an interview of a true gentleman, an inspirational figure, a marathon runner, a motivational speaker, an incredible fighter, and more than anything else, an awe-inspiring human being- Major DP Singh.
As a part of Operation Vijay during the Kargil War, I was leading the 7 Dogra Unit at Akhnoor Sector. The weather was hot and the war had started, and for about 40 hours there was not a single fire from the adversary. Even as I was thinking whether it was the proverbial lull before the storm, a mortar dropped near me. I ducked, but the bomb exploded and the splinters pierced my body. I was declared dead by the surgical specialist. As luck would have had it, another doctor- an anesthetic was present there at that moment, who had a look at me and was able to revive me.
The only dream I had in my life was to join the Army. My childhood was spent in Roorkee and I grew up admiring their spirit, discipline and sacrifice. I come from the Sikh community and reading the history of my ancestors did indeed make me mentally strong. I served in the Army for 10 years and got a chance to fight our enemies to protect my motherland- the biggest dream of any soldier. I am very very proud about that.
Everything Is Destined
I failed in my 11th grade and had to repeat the year. I don’t regret losing that one year because while attending summer classes, I saved the life of a girl from an attack of honey bees and took her to the hospital just in time. Had I not been there in that situation, I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to save a life!
There is a reason for everything. God almighty wanted me to take up this amputation and shape me up for any kind of struggles. So I believe fighting Kargil was part of His plan. I see reasons for my trauma. My leg was blown off. Today it doesn’t stop me from running a marathon. My confidence has only grown leaps and bounds, it has never diminished!
The Challenging Ones
No one in the world is incapable. Some are normally-abled and some are differently-abled. Sports help people to erase misconceptions in the society and bridge the gap. With my blades, I can show the world that I can run 10k marathon in a good amount of time, like any other normal athlete!
I started ‘The Challenging Ones’ group. Today it is a network of over 400 Paralympic athletes and doctors. This group is full of inspiration and we derive inspiration from each others success. For us, there is nothing called impossible!
Ideas: Ideals: India
Probably the Lord Almighty said to himself while looking at me- “Isko bhagao, yeh sabko bhagayega!” (Make him run, and he will make everyone else run too!) I had made up my mind to live like never before when my leg was chopped off. Life itself is the biggest teacher. It tests you every now and then. When you clear a test, you get upgraded to the next challenge. It is nothing but a learning process. You always find a way of doing same things in a new way. Everything is possible. My daily routine is almost still the same.
The blood running in my veins belongs to the citizens of our country. I don’t know how many people donated the blood that is running inside me right now!
Biggest Asset – My Smile! It has the power to spread happiness and a positive attitude.
Biggest Fear – The moment you are fearless, you can turn over-confident. I have these little fears like walking up to the stage for a talk or running another marathon- which motivates me to prepare or work harder each passing day!
Army personnel or a Challenger One – Army is the one that shaped up DP Singh to be a Challenger!
Idea of Love – Integrate everybody. Include everyone. Spreading smile is the biggest love. Difficult question yaar! (Laughs)
KnowYourStar.com (KYS) interviewed Major DP Singh as part of India Inclusion Summit(IIS). IIS is a platform that brings awareness and drives inclusion of specially-abled people at corporates, schools, policy makers and NGOs. Yes, KYS is official blogging partner for IIS and backs the event whole-heartedly in a thirst to see an Inclusive India.