Gurugram: Thousands of promising players in India are not able to move forward due to economic challenges and lack of proper guidance. Sensing the gravity of this situation, many non-governmental organisations have come forward and provided all facilities to the needy and talented players to make them capable of becoming achievers for the country. Similarly, M3M Foundation also joined this noble cause, paving the way for many sports persons through its annual ‘Lakshya’ programme to enable them to glorify the nation by dint of their performance on international grounds.
There are many athletes who have been helped by the Foundation to fend off social and economic challenges. Also, M3M Foundation extends help to the players who face physical challenges and grooms them to soar.
Let us have a glance of the heroic journey of some of the brave players who have made India proud with their stellar performance, and will be representing the country once again in the Asian Games to be held this year.
Saraswati: 15-year-old Saraswati of Padheni village, Tauru Block, Nuh District, who is intellectually challenged, hit the headlines by winning the gold medal for the country in the 500-meter roller skating at the Special Olympics World Games held this year in June at Berlin, Germany. On her return from Germany, Saraswati was felicitated along with all the players in the Parliament House. People of her village took out a rally in her honour with enthusiasm and verve. Such ‘Lakshya’ scholars of M3M Foundation have always made India proud.
Pooja Yadav: 34-year-old Pooja, resident of Tauru, is an embodiment of courage. In her childhood, she had fallen into a well and her spine got injured. She was confined to a wheelchair forever which made her dismal, but some of her friends encouraged her, and that rekindled her dream. As she was reeling under financial distress, M3M Foundation ignited Pooja’s passion and provided her with a good diet, excellent training, high-end sports equipment, and all kinds of financial support for every competition under the ‘Lakshya’ scholarship programme. Pooja brought laurels to India by winning a bronze medal in the World Para Athletics Championships held in Paris in July this year and secured a seat for the country to represent in the Asian Games, China. In August 2023, Pooja won gold medals in both Javelin and Discus events held in the Para Moravia Zlin Cup Tournament in the Czech Republic.
Pranav Soorma: Lakshya scholar Pranav Soorma won gold at the Asian Para Games 2018 and silver at the World Para Athletics Championship 2019. He gave an impressive performance at the World Para Athletics Championship held in Paris this year. He is ready to bring another medal to India in the Asian Games to be held in China this year.
Manjeet Vats: The famous saying “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” fairly characterises Lakshya scholar Manjeet Vats who never learned to lose any battle. His strong mind has always earned him success. Manjeet started playing pole vault from childhood. He was disheartened after losing his eyesight in an accident, but he never lost his spirit of winning in life. He never gave up and started working hard in the Javelin throw. As a result, Manjeet has made India proud in international arenas on several occasions. He seems confident enough to do well for India in the Asian Games.
Sakshi Kasana: In a similar vein, Sakshi of Faridabad also brought glory to India by winning gold and silver medals for the country at the World Para Athletics Championships held in Paris. Notably, Lakshya scholar Sakshi will also represent India in the Asian Games.
Apart from para-athletes, the M3M Foundation is also committed to encouraging many promising and economically weaker sportspersons. The list of promising players is long, including Juned Khan, who has made a backbreaking effort to clinch a medal in the event walking race. Salman, who will represent India in the rowing; and Narendra Bhadana, who recently performed well in Wrestling under-17 category competition in Istanbul. Shatarunjay, from Ranchi, Jharkhand, who grabbed the top ranking in the State Ranking Table Tennis Championship the under-19 category held recently.
‘Lakshya’ scholar Deepshikha Singh, who hails from Noida, won a silver medal in the Women’s Singles Badminton Championship of Maldives International Series. In 10m Rifle Shooting, Bhavya Gera performed well and ‘Lakshya’ scholar Chetan Sharma made it to the Junior National Hockey team.
Dr. Payal Kanodia, Chairperson & Trustee, M3M Foundation said, “On behalf of M3M Foundation, I salute all the sportspersons on the occasion of National Sports Day, who have made the country proud. M3M Foundation will always be committed to paving the way for dedicated sportspersons.”