Bengaluru, Sep 11: Saroja is now a proud mother. After her golden son Mariyappan Thangavelu clinched the desired gold in the high jump in Paralympics in Rio on Saturday (Sep 10), the lady spent a sleepless night out of joy. (Who is Thangavelu?)
Srinivasan, one of the Mariyappan’s childhood friends, when contacted over phone, described the atmosphere saying, “Mariyappan’s mother became speechless after having watched Mariyappan standing on the podium in television. She was murmuring that probably her days of struggle would come to an end.”
Saroja’s struggle began when Mariyappan’s father left her and his two sons and a younger sister. Mariyappan’s mother started working in brick factory as a daily wage earner. That was not at all sufficient.
So, she began to sell vegetables in the evening sitting on the roadside village in Salem. And then 15 years ago, Saroja received the second major blow when a bus knocked Mariyappan who was playing with his friends. Following treatment the doctors informed Saroja that her son would never regain the required strength in his right leg.
Satyanarayan, the specialist Long Jump and High Jump coach at the SAI center in Bengaluru also was jubilant as he said from Rio, “Despite the fact that he was handicapped with his right leg, Marriyappan had tremendous zeal. I first saw him in an inter-college championship in Bengaluru. And having watched him for the first time, I was moved by his attention on the technique. Then he began his training at the SAI Bengaluru.”
Mariyappan jumped 1.89 meter on Saturday (Sep 10) surpassing the current American world champion in high jump who has jumped 1.86 meter. And this 22-year-old boy, even after having created history, seems to be in relief.
From his coach’s phone, Mariyappan said, “It looks like a dream. But at the same time in reality, now I must have to reshape my family members.”
Mariyappan is already being flooded with huge amount cash incentives from the society’s different corners. And he now is planning to shift to Bengaluru from Salem, according to his coach. He seems to be content that now he will be able to buy a flat in Bengaluru and stay with his family.