Bengal has always been at the back seat when it comes to sports like judo, let alone judo for the physically challenged. However, this boy from a small village called Khejuri, Midnapur has proved the common opinion of inability of handicapped people in sports, wrong. Buddhadeb Jana is just 19 years old and is visually impaired. His awe inspiring story of being trained in judo and winning bronze in the commonwealth Para Judo championship in Walsall, Birmingham touches every heart in Bengal.
The tournament was held in late September which witnessed the participation of 19 countries. The team representing India had 20 members and Jana was the only Bengali member in the team. He entered the tournament in the below 60 kg category. Jana won in consecutive bouts before losing to an Indian in the semi finals. When asked, Jana confessed that his most interesting bout was with a Sri Lankan judoka. Jana says that he has challenged his limits when he pinned him down for a while. The Alma Mater of Jana is Narendrapur Ram Krishna Mission Blind Boy’s academy. He has been studying there for 10 years and has been training in judo for the past 4 years. Even though he couldn’t secure gold for the country, he felt good when appreciated on an international level. His opponent to whom he lost was Kapil Parmar from Madhya Pradesh.
When asked about his visual impairment, he says that he has never thought of it as a challenge and people have conquered even bigger hurdles. Jana has gone through 5 eye surgeries so far and is partially blind. His teachers say he is obedient and disciplined.