Saswat Singhdeo

Berhampur: Despite losing both his legs in a train mishap and being stricken by penury, his determination to reach the peak of success never let him down. The story of Gadadhar Sahu, a wheelchair bodybuilder, is one of grit & guts.

After winning the Mr Odisha title in the year 2016 and being conferred Mr Ganjam Shree in 2019-20, Gadadhar now aims to win gold medal for the country.

Gadadhar lost both his legs while he was studying in Class 7. During a train journey to Gujarat to meet his brother, he fell off the train and lost his legs. Railway police personnel who initially thought Gadadhar had died were shocked to find him to be alive.

After the mishap, another tragedy struck him when he lost his parents but nothing could shatter his dreams as with the support of his elder brother and sister-in-law, he completed his studies and began preparing for bodybuilding championships.

“In 2016, I won wheelchair challenge Mr Odisha trophy but due to financial constraints I had to discontinue bodybuilding for 4 years. I want to win gold medal at the national level,” said Gadadhar.

Praising her brother-in-law, Sangeeta Sahu said, “We look at him like a son. God has been harsh on him but he is trying very hard to win medals.”

Inspired by his role model and India’s first wheelchair bodybuilder, Anand Arnold, Gadadhar works hard to reach new heights.

“I have never met him but I consider him as my guru,” said Gadadhar, who runs a fast food shop to meet his basic expenses and has sought government help so that he can do better in his bodybuilding career.

Dilip Mishra, Gadadhar’s trainer said, “If he gets help from the government he will definitely bring medals for the country.”

Speaking about Gadadhar’s plight, Seragada BDO Suranjan Sahu said, “Administration provides monthly pension to Gadadhar and we will try to provide financial help if he applies for it.”