Manasi Girishchandra Joshi, an Indian para-badminton athlete has been recently honoured with a Barbie Doll to her name. She won her first BWF Para-Badminton World Championships on Saturday (24 August) and also brought home the much-awaited gold medal. By receiving this prestigious honor, Manasi Joshi has become the only second Indian woman and the first para-athlete to have a barbie doll modeled after her. Not only this, but Manasi Joshi has also been featured on the cover of Time Magazine's Next Generation Leader.
On Tuesday, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju handed cheques worth Rs 1.82 crore to the para-badminton winners. The gold medal winners got Rs 20 lakh each while silver and bronze medallist took home Rs 14 lakh and Rs 8 lakh, respectively. Winners in doubles events were given Rs 15 lakh each for gold, Rs 10.5 lakh each for silver, and Rs 6 lakh each for bronze.
"It is an immense honour to be felicitated by Barbie and having a doll modelled after me. Recognitions like these will help me change perceptions among people about disability" Manasi Joshi revealed in an interview. She further said, " You can be anything. Yes, it does apply to me to a large extent. This is about converting situations into those of advantage".
Manasi's love for badminton started when she was just 6 years old when she used to play with her father retired scientist from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Three years later, Joshi picked up badminton and went on play at the school and district level. After completing her graduation from KJ Somaiya College of Engineering in 2010, Joshi started working as a software engineer with Atos India. There she won a gold medal at an intra-corporate badminton tournament in 2011, but on December 2 that very year she met with an accident on her way to work when a truck hit her two-wheeler.
Her left leg had to be cut off and that is when her actual journey started. Joshi got a prosthetic leg after spending 45 days in the hospital and three months in recovery. So good was she in badminton that in 2012, Joshi defeated able-bodied players at the same corporate tournament barely months after she re-learned to walk.
The proud shuttler took to Twitter to announce her featuring on Time Magazine. Here is what she wrote, "The younger me would have never believed it that someday I will be on the cover of TIME and be called the next generation leader. This is so huge,"
Well, is there anything one cannot do? Cheers to Manasi Joshi for inspiring millions of lives through her courage and determination.