Indian double-leg-amputee swimmer Masudur Rahman Baidya (46), who created sensation by crossing the English Channel in 1997, died on April 26 after a heart attack.
The 46-year-old was not keeping well from April 24. "On April 26, he threw up and was shifted to a nursing home. He died within an hour of being admitted. He had a major heart attack and doctors put him on ventilator. Doctors tried their best but he passed away within one hour," said Baidya's sister Monira Rahman.
Baidya, who had conquered the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar in 2001 and the Palk Strait in July 2010, was very popular and Indian cricket Sachin Tendulkar was one among his numerous admirers.
Tendulkar visited him in December 2014 while inaugurating Rabindra Swimming Pool and Anushilan Kendra at Lalkuti in Rajarhat. Acknowledging Baidya's feats, Tendulkar had said: "They are the real heroes and their life is like an inspiration to all of us."
Baidya, who hailed from Ballabhpur village in North 24 Parganas district, lost both legs after being run over by a goods train when he was nine. He spent nearly one and a half years in hospital, but did not let disability dictate his life.
"It is absolutely possible for persons with physical disabilities to do things better than normal people. But you have to be dedicated to your cause. My case study has been featured in books, people can read about me and be inspired, but India only understands cricket, cinema and politics." Baidya had said last year.