Devendra Jhajharia was born in a Jat Family in the Churu District in Rajasthan. At the age of eight, while climbing
a tree he accidently touched a live electric cable. He received medical attention, but the doctors were forced to amputate
his left hand. But that did not deter him from pursuing his dreams. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength,
overcoming all the obstacles in his path. He competes in the F-46 Category- for athletes with unilateral upper-limb impairment.
In 2002, he won his first gold medal in the 8th FESPIC Games in South Korea. He brought the first glory for India and for himself
in 2004 when he won his first gold medal and set a new world record at the Athens Paralympic Games. He became the second gold
medalist from India at the Paralympics after Muralikanth Petkar.
In 2005, he won the Arjuna Award for his incredible achievements in the field of sport. In the same year,
he was felicitated with the Maharana Pratap Puraskar Award. In 2012, he was the first Paralympian to be
honoured with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award. Unfortunately, his category was not
part of the Paralympics in Beijing (2008) or London (2012). He had to wait for 9 years to compete again at the
IPC World Championships. On his return to the international platform, he won a gold medal at the 2013 IPC World Championships.
He followed this up with a silver medal at the 2014 Asian Para Games at Incheon in South Korea. He was named the Para-sportsperson
of the year by FICCI in the same year. At the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, he finished in second place, claiming
silver, and qualifying for the Rio Paralympics. In 2016, he won a gold medal at the 2016 IPC Athletics Asia-Oceania Championship in Dubai.
However, his best was yet to come.
At the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, he won the gold medal, bettering his own 2004 record with a world-record throw of 63.97 m.
With this achievement, he etched his name in history to become the first Indian Paralympian to win two gold medals at the Paralympics.
His excellence in sport earned him the GQ Sportsperson of the year award in 2016.
However, Jhajharia continues to amaze all of his with his determination of hoping to make it a hattrick at the Paralympic
Games and has qualified for the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics.
A former Indian Railways employee, Jhajharia is currently employed with the Sports Authority of India.
His achievements in sports have truly distinguished him as a pioneer of sport in India.