Saturday, July 13, 2024

Who is Sheetal Devi: An Armless Poor Kid to Arjuna Awardee Archer

At the Asian Para Games 2023, Sheetal's stellar performance continued, winning gold in the individual compound and mixed team events, along with a silver medal in the women's doubles competition.


Sheetal Devi, a para-archer from the remote mountain village in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, has risen above her challenges to become an Arjuna Awardee. Let’s delve into her inspirational journey and remarkable achievements.

Sheetal Devi’s Early Life and Challenges

Born without hands in a financially struggling family in a terrorism-affected region, Sheetal’s life was marked by adversity. Her parents, however, refused to succumb to the challenges they faced. In 2019, 11 Rashtriya Rifle Northern Comd adopted Sheetal, providing support to her family and creating local opportunities for her.

Meghna Girish and Anupam Kher’s Support

Meghna Girish, the mother of Major Akshay Girish, played a pivotal role in Sheetal’s life. She convinced actor Anupam Kher to assist Sheetal in obtaining artificial limbs. Though she gained hands, Sheetal’s strength lay in her legs, and it was Preeti Rai of Bengaluru who, with the help of sports NGOs, paved the way for Sheetal’s entry into archery.

Preeti Rai’s Efforts and Sheetal’s Triumphs

Preeti Rai, in collaboration with sports NGOs, facilitated Sheetal’s journey into archery. Under the guidance of coach Mr. Kuldeep Baidwan, a specially designed kit allowed Sheetal to practice archery using her mouth and legs. This perseverance bore fruit when Sheetal achieved gold and silver medals at the Asian Para Games in 2022.

Coach Abhilasha Chaudhary’s Training

Currently being trained by Coach Abhilasha Chaudhary at Shri Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Katra, Sheetal Devi continues to break barriers and inspire many. Her story is a beacon of hope for the differently-abled and underprivileged, showcasing the power of resilience and determination.

Sheetal Devi’s Achievements in 2023

The year 2023 marked a turning point in Sheetal’s career. She secured a silver medal in the open women’s compound archery event at the World Archery Para Championships in the Czech Republic, becoming the first female armless archer to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

At the Asian Para Games 2023, Sheetal’s stellar performance continued, winning gold in the individual compound and mixed team events, along with a silver medal in the women’s doubles competition. She stands as the only active female international archer shooting without arms, solidifying her place in the world of para-archery.

More about Sheetal Devi

Full NameSheetal Devi
Date of BirthJanuary 10 2007
HometownKishtwar district, Jammu and Kashmir
Parents[Not provided]
Arjuna Award DateJanuary 9
Arjuna Award PresenterPresident of India
Asian Para Games 20222 Golds, 1 Silver
CoachAbhilasha Chaudhary

Sheetal Devi’s journey from a challenging upbringing to becoming an Arjuna Awardee is truly inspiring. Her triumphs in the face of adversity serve as a testament to the power of determination and support from the community. Sheetal Devi is not just an archer; she is a symbol of strength, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of the human will.

The Indian Bugle
The Indian Bugle
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