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Muskan Garg: Overcoming Adversity to Shine in Special Olympics

Do you remember the Special Olympics held in Abu Dhabi in 2019? Yes, the one where India won 368 medals, including 85 gold, 154 silver, and 129 bronze medals, securing third place in the standings. Indeed, India’s performance that year was commendable, but the athletes who contributed to it also deserve praise. Today, let’s talk about one such athlete from those Special Olympics who achieved remarkable success in powerlifting, winning 1 gold and 3 silver medals, yet she lives her life today in anonymity. Yes, we are talking about Haryana’s Muskan Garg, who, since childhood, fought with determination, leaving behind social stigmas, and by winning three silver and one gold medal in Abu Dhabi, silenced the world. Let’s hear her story in her mother Neena Garg’s words…

Muskan’s mother Neena recalls, “Muskan was quite weak from birth and couldn’t eat or drink anything until the age of two and a half. Even by the age of four, Muskan hadn’t learned to walk. Concerned, Neena consulted doctors, but they considered it normal, so Neena remained calm for a while. But as time passed, Neena’s worries about Muskan grew.

Even after enrolling in school, Muskan couldn’t study or understand properly. That’s when Neena realized that Muskan was a special child, intellectually disabled. But Neena was not ready to accept it, especially when her other two children were normal. However, as the discussions between Neena and her husband intensified, Neena decided to separate from her husband and take responsibility for Muskan, which was a big challenge for her at that time. But they say a mother isn’t afraid of facing big challenges for her children. How could Neena give up then?

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Neena became Muskan’s shield against society

Even after separating from her husband, Neena’s problems didn’t diminish. Now, society began to look down upon Muskan. Children started refusing to play with Muskan, and Muskan stopped going out. Muskan was afraid that people would make fun of her. As a mother, Neena also worried about Muskan’s future and feared that someone might take advantage of Muskan’s disability. That’s when Neena decided to enroll Muskan in a special school. And putting Muskan in a special school turned out to be beneficial… Here, Muskan was not only taught cooking and sewing but also given attention in sports. Muskan developed her interest and abilities in various sports like skating, netball, and floorball.

The focus was always on winning gold from the beginning

Muskan won her first gold medal in the floorball championship representing Haryana in 2016. Even after that, participating in many other sports competitions, Muskan surprised everyone by winning medals. But who knew that Muskan wasn’t going to stop now. Neena says that taking Muskan from one place to another for different sports competitions was difficult. Due to the financial situation, Neena had to withdraw Muskan from school as well. But seeing the troubles, Muskan’s brothers also took charge and asked their mother to focus entirely on Muskan, assuring her of financial support.

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Seeing this, Neena also, with a strengthened resolve, sent Muskan alone to participate in many competitions. During these competitions, Neena didn’t even talk to Muskan so that Muskan could focus entirely on the game. Then one day, Neena receives a call that Muskan has been selected for the World Special Olympics 2019, and now she has to go to Abu Dhabi. With a heavy heart, Neena once again sent Muskan far away to shine the name of the country across the seven seas. And Muskan didn’t disappoint Neena. Competing with nearly 7,000 participants in weightlifting, Muskan won 1 gold and three silver medals, not only silencing the opposition growing in society for her but also shining India’s name on the world stage.

Change in attitude after winning medals, but not for long

When Muskan returned from Abu Dhabi with medals, Neena’s happiness knew no bounds, as if she had received the fruit of her years of penance. Neena’s eyes were filled with tears of joy. Society and relatives also began to respect Muskan. Now everyone wanted to involve their sons and daughters in sports like Muskan. Although Muskan received support from the government, it was insufficient. Speaking of India, the facilities provided to Olympic medalists here are inadequate compared to other countries. Even a country like Singapore provides nearly $737,000 to every Olympic medalist, which is approximately 6 crore rupees in Indian currency. Whereas America gives around $37,500 to its Olympic medalists. Countries like China and Turkey are not far behind. Whereas, in India, According to Neena garg, Muskan was given a amount of 14 lakh rupees by the Central Government of India. Moreover, the promise of a government job has become just an excuse to appear in the media headlines, as it is not clear how many Special Olympics medalists have actually benefited from it.

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Neena sends a message to the government and society, saying that whether a child is special or normal, we should recognize their special abilities and encourage them. The government should also treat Olympic medalists and other athletes equally and provide them with encouragement.

Reporting for True to Life

Mohit Sabdani from Rajasthan

Truetolifenews doesn’t take any responsibility for this article

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