Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia scripted history by becoming the first Indian to clinch two gold medals at the Paralympics after he broke his own world record to clinch the top honours at the ongoing Rio Games.
Devendra, who won his previous gold in the 2004 Athens Games, improved his own world record to finish on top in the men’s F46 event.
The Rajasthan born athlete had lost his left hand when he was electrocuted while climbing a tree as an eight-year-old. But he continued to follow his dream and went on to achieve the Arjuna award in 2004 and the Padma Shri in 2012, becoming the first Paralympian to receive the honour.
India’s flag-bearer at the 2016 paralympics, Jhajharia was awarded with prestigious Arjuna award in 2005. The same year, Rajasthan government also felicitated him with Maharana Pratap Puraskar Award.
Apart from that, he also received the fouth-highest civilian honor Padma Shri from President Pratibha Patil in 2012 – first paralympian to have received the award. In 2014, FICCI named him the para-sportsperson of the year.
Jhajharia currently lives in Jaipur with his wife and daughter and is employed with the railways. He is also a member of the paralympics committee of Rajasthan.