Madhavi Latha- the Crusader for Wheelchair Basketball in India was honoured with the “Built Tough Award” at the Adding Smiles Ambassador Awards Ceremony for her efforts towards promoting sports among the differently abled. Polio affected Madhavi Latha, was told by the doctors after seeing her deteriorating health conditions that she would live only a year, eight years ago.
Her muscles had become very weak due to lack of oxygen. Her spinal cord was compressed because of the disease. One of her lungs were covered by the spine. A spinal surgery was required immediately.
A physiotherapist, Mr. Ananda Jothi, suggested the process of hydrotherapy. They are exercises done under water, to increase her chances of survival. Madhavi attempted the therapy against her family’s desire on seeing the doctor’s confidence. The possibility of a paralysed person surviving in water was ridiculed. Surprisingly, her body became light through this and due to the buoyancy of water the weak muscles in her legs could bear her weight. “This meant a completely different world of freedom to me”, she says. As she could walk underwater.
She was conferred with the title of the most encouraging sports person, as she finished the 100m freestyle. Everyone were quite astonished. She also won three gold medals by subsequently participating in the Para-Swimming National Championship.
She initiated a movement called “Yes We Too Can” because Madhavi began to wonder if at the age of 40 she could become a national champion and find happiness through sports, then it quite possibly might change the lives of differently abled children too.