This is a story of Avani Lekhara- A girl who was paralyzed from the waist down and managed to change the course of history in sports.
Avani Lekhara is a Jaipur born Paralympian and rifle shooter. At the tender age of just 11 years old she met with a car accident and was rendered completely paraplegia. She lost all motor ability from the waist down. But still she did not lose hope and when her father encouraged her to try out sports, she gave it her best shot. He further encouraged her to train in archery and then she started learning to shooting in 2015 inspired by former Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra and since then she made her mark in the field by winning multiple national and international titles.
She won her first gold medal in shooting at the regional when she was just in school. She is changed the course of history by being the first women to win a Paralympic gold medal. She tied the world record at the 2020 Summer Paralympic and won India it’s first gold medal. She again made history in 2021 by becoming the first Indian female Paralympian to win two medals in Paralympics history after claiming bronze in women's 50m air rifle standing event. Lekhara is reaching exponential heights and her achievements are countless and unparallel she is currently World No 1 in Women's 10m Air Rifle standing SH1 (World Shooting Para Sport Rankings) and has also competed in the 2018 Asian Para Games.
She has been recognized many times for her achievements she was named Young Indian of the Year by GQ India, BBC India Change Maker Of The Year and Vogue Women of the Year by Vogue Magazine in 2021.She also won Best Female Debut - Paralympic Awards by International Paralympic Committee, FICCI FLO Award for Excellence in Sports, She - Age Award by Hindustan Time, Para Athlete of the Year (Female) by Sportstar and BRICS CCI WE - Trailblazer 2022. She has won some of the height laurels given by the Government of India the Padma Shri Award and the Khel Ratna Award, which is highest sporting honor of India.
She has been supported by GoSports Foundation through the Para Champions Program. She has been given out of turn appointment as Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) by the Government of Rajasthan. Along with all this she is also perusing law from Rajasthan. She is an inspiration to all and is a symbol of strength even in the face of adversity.