A physically-challenged swimmer who has won numerous national pool swimming championships and participated in several international events has set his sights on a new record. He wants to swim across the English Channel, blindfolded with his legs tied together.
Binod – a lower division clerk (LDC) with the Minor Water Resources Department of the Bihar government – leaves for Kolkata every Friday evening to practise swimming and returns to Patna on Monday morning. “I do not have an easy access to any swimming pool in Bihar where I can practise regularly,” he said. “I, therefore, have to go to Kolkata to hone my skills. I’m doing this to fulfil my dreams.”
Binod, however, is not able to devote full time to his passion. He has to go to office everyday from 9am to 5pm. He had got the LDC’s job on sports quota two years ago, but it gave him little time to practise swimming. “I have been doing the clerical job at the state secretariat since March 2012, but I make it a point to go to Kolkata on Saturdays and Sundays so that I can practise swimming for eight to nine hours a day there,” he said.
Binod doesn’t face any problem in doing office work. He uses his feet effectively to do all household and office chores. “I do not face any inconvenience at work,” he said.
Thirty three-year-old Binod has participated in several national and international swimming competitions between 2005 and 2011. Apart from the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, he took part in the 2006 Asian Pacific Games in Malaysia, World Amputee Sport Games 2007 in Taiwan and German Open Swimming Championships in 2008 among other international events.
Son of a retired Kolkata schoolteacher, Binod passed his Class 10 and Class 12 exams conducted by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education with good marks before he moved to Gaya in Bihar to pursue his graduation course. But it was swimming that gave him the zeal to excel regardless of the odds he faced.