Overcoming the odds – How Babur Arafat brought Pride to India.
A metaphorical phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” fits just right with beloved scientist Stephen Hawking, despite being paralysed from ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), overcame this debilitating disease and continued probing the mysteries of the universe.
Babur Arafat who hailed from Patna, Bihar, India, is also amongst the brave examples. Born on December 5, 1985 with intellectual disability, Babur has also proven the world that one can achieve anything they want in life with sheer handwork and determination. As Hawking said during a speech at Oxford University in 2006, “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”
With Babur’s jaw dropping performance at the “Special Olympics”, he won two bronze medals for a soft ball throw and 100 meters walk held in 2003, Dublin, Ireland. Later that year the government of Bihar recognised his achievement and honoured him with the “Khel Kirti Samman”.
Tejaswi Yadav [ @yadavtejashwi ] and Babar Arafat receiving 'Khel Kirti' samman, Bihar's highest sports award on August 29, 2003.
Babar Arafat, an intelectually-challenged player, won bronze medal in 100 meters walk in Dublin during the Special #Olympic in June, 2003.#Bihar pic.twitter.com/QbzdKBmPbW
— Lost Muslim Heritage of Bihar (@LMHOBOfficial) February 1, 2023
Babur not just made his family proud but the entire nation was pleased by his extraordinary achievements. He was a source of encouragement to many families who faced similar challenges.They viewed him as their ideal and considered him as an epitome of success.
Babur had a charming personality. He was honest and expressed no flaky talks and never disappointed anyone. He was warm and welcoming and was always curious and showed a keen interest to go to school upon which he was admitted to ‘Margdarshan School’ in Patna.
Babur Arafat’s father Akhtar Alam recognised his condition early on and worked on providing him with emotional & physical support. He kept a keen eye on what games and activities Babur enjoyed the most and how long was he able to perform such activities. The daily routine followed by Babur and his father in training him in sports finally proved fruitful when Babur won two bronze medals at the “Special Olympics” in 2003.
Babur’s accomplishment was not easy. He always fought through hardships and suffered his fair share of pain before he won bronze medals at the special olympics. He passed away at a young age of 25 on November 23, 2011 due to a sudden brain haemorrhage.
He left a learning lesson for us all that hard work is essential even if one has average level of talent. Everyone can achieve and be successful in life by being committed to a purpose in life.