The World Karate Championship will be held in Pittsburgh, from June 18-20, in which sixteen-year-old Srimanth Bal from Gujarat will represent India.
But what makes Srimanth different from other participants in the Championship is that he is suffering from cerebral palsy, a non-contagious conditions that cause physical disability in human development.
His new talent despite being differently-abled has yet again demonstrated that such people are endowed with abilities that need proper channelizing.
"I am a black belt and will participate in the World Championship. I never thought that all this would happen. In the past three years, I have progressed a lot. I don't know myself what I have achieved," said Srimanth.
Due to his disability, Srimanth could not walk for eleven years and was bound to his wheelchair and had to be force-fed. He was affected by Quadriplegia and could not walk without help.
But today, he is the only boy selected among eleven competitors by the All India Isshinryu Karate Association to represent the country at the forthcoming World Karate Championship.
"Five years ago in 2004, we started giving him training. At that time he could not even walk. Initially, it was very difficult how to train him. But, I guided him and trained him. We even gave him psychological treatment," said Hardhik Joshi, Srimanth's coach.
Srimanth's desperate father Srinavas Bal came to know about the karate therapy and contacted Hussaini, president of All India Isshinryu Karate Association and sought his help.
"After four years of treatment, his doctors said that all he needs exercise and not medicine. Then we contacted Hussaini and asked him what to do. He then told us to contact Hardhik Joshi and send him for training. I had never imagined that he would progress so much within just five years. Today, I am very happy that he has achieved so much and I know that someday he will stand on his own feet," said Srinavas Bal.
After undergoing rigorous training for five years, Srimanth's remarkable progress has earned him a black belt. As a part of the black belt test, Srimanth was required to jog 25 km non-stop and do endurance repetitions hundreds of times.
The karate training at All India Isshinryu Karate Association has put Srimanth on to a miraculous road to recovery and control of his limbs.
He will be taking on regular (able bodied) karatekas and is confident that he will return from the championship with flying colors. By Arun Kanan.