Beating all odds, 22-year-old girl from Hyderabad clinches silver in powerlifting

Beating all odds, 22-year-old girl from Hyderabad clinches silver in powerlifting

A 22-year-old girl from Hyderabad, Bhagyalakshmi Vaishnav, won silver in the international world classic powerlifting championship being held in Turkey earlier this week.
Bhagyalakshmi comes from a poor family where the father works in a plywood shop and the mother is a homemaker who is also a cancer survivor. She lost her brother to blood cancer in 2015.
However, even when faced with these huge difficulties, she tenaciously stuck to her sport.
Bhagyalakshmi narrated the story of her journey in a conversation with ANI. She said that it started with the training at LB Stadium in Hyderabad. She competed at the district level, after which she was selected for the state level. She then got the opportunity to play at the national level.
“It was my dad who I first thought of when I got the medal. I video-called my mom. She was crying out of happiness. My father works in a plywood shop, and my mother is a homemaker. My dad had a business but went into debt as my brother had blood cancer. We were three sisters and one brother. My brother had blood cancer and he died in 2015. My mother also had breast cancer, but she is doing fine now. She is overcoming cancer. My father’s business saw great losses, and he started working in a plywood shop. We suffered a lot financially, but mentally we have great support from family,” she said.
Due to her poor financial condition, she did not want to participate in one of the competitions in Mangalore. However, it was her father who took loans so that she could go on to participate.
“My mother is my inspiration as she overcame her disease and is getting better, thinking that if she is not there, who will look after her girls? So she is doing it for us and I am doing it for her. My mom and dad are my inspirations. There are other two players playing in Turkey where one guy had diabetes and there was a girl from Great Britain who had cancer, yet she was participating in the competition,” she said.
Bhagyalakshmi said that she trains hard with her coach and prefers only a vegetarian diet.
“My coach is Praveen Kumar. My diet is completely vegetarian. I take dry fruits, soaked raisins, bananas, milk, and protein. I also take paneer,” she said.
Giving out a message to the girls in the country, Bhagyalakshmi said that they should motivate other girls to push their limits and achieve what they want to in their lives.
“The message I want to give to girls is to motivate other girls to struggle and overcome problems, push their limits and achieve their dreams,” she said.
Dhanraj Vaishnav, father of Bhagyalakshmi, said that his daughter was into sports since she entered standard 11.
“At first she used to go to karate and later she went to powerlifting. She got a gold in the Karimnagar district championship. My family tried to demotivate me by asking why I was sending a girl, but I never listened to them. We will support her fully to get to Commonwealth. When she won the international Turkey championship, I felt very proud. Our neighbour and all were very happy, and when she came back,” he said.