Ludhiana's visually challenged girl to compete in athletics in U.S.

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Ludhiana, July 22 (ANI): Fourteen-year-old Harmanpreet Kaur of Jharodi Village near Ludhiana is today an inspiration for all those who suffer from physical disabilities.

Harmanpreet, despite being a visually challenged since birth, dreamt of making a mark in the international sports arena. She has already been five times national champion in athletics.

Today, Harmanpreet is among eight other Indian sportspersons who are going to participate in 2009 International Blind Sports Federation World Youth and Student Championships and the 2009 IBSA Pan-American Games in Colorado (U.S).

"She is going to participate in athletics in Colorado in USA. She is the only girl from Punjab participating in athletics in the U.S. I have been training her since she was 11-years-old. I have lot of expectations from her. She will definitely win the medal in the games. She is very confident," said Dalwinder Singh, Athletic coach before her departure for Colorado.

She will participate in 100m, 200m and shot put events in Colorado.

A major credit for her success so far is shared by her coach Dalwinder Singh and visually challenged father Gurpreet Singh. Both have been trying hard to help her achieve goals despite problems like lack of infrastructure and sponsorship.

Harmanpreet is a student of Harjas School in Jhoradi village of Punjab, has made her family and friends proud.

"I feel very proud of my daughter. I have two daughters. My elder daughter has a vision problem but besides that she manages very well. Earlier she represented Punjab in national games and now she is going to represent India. I want to give a message to other people that they should not kill their daughters. A normal child can do anything. My daughter in spite of her vision problem is going to make the country proud," said Gurpreet Singh, Harmanpreet's father.

"I participated in athletics in 2006 in Guru Nanak Stadium, where I won gold medals in 100 and 200-meter race. Then I took part in National Games in Delhi, where I got 2nd position in 100 meter, first in 200 meters and 3rd position in the shot put. After that I went to Bangalore. Now, I am very happy that I am going to America. I will give my best and win medals for India," said Harmanpreet before leaving for Colorado.

With 17 medals already in her kitty, Harmanpreet is a source of inspiration to millions of visually impaired people the world over.

In Punjab, where female mortality rate is among the highest in the country, Harmanpreet Kaur has sent a message that being a girl child is no way less important than having a boy in one's family. By Karan Kapoor (ANI)

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