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J-K: International Basketball player recalls her journey of 'Playing for India in Wheelchair'

New Delhi [India], October 11 (ANI): A land once filled in with terrorist activities and hot spots for the raging separatist movements, has now become a place producing thrilling young stars in all kinds of sports, be it cricket, judo or basketball.

One such accomplished young star is Ishrat Akhtar, the international wheelchair basketball player from Baramulla in Kashmir, the Research Centre Global Order reported.

As per the Research Centre Global Order, Ishrat Akhtar is the first woman to represent India at the international level for the wheelchair basketball tournament.

Ishrat Akhtar representing India globally remembers the 'horrific incident', which led her to the wheelchair.

"In 2016 I fell from the second floor of a building after which my spinal cord was completely damaged. I was immediately taken to a hospital in Baramullah. I was later referred to Srinagar where I had surgery three days after the incident. I stayed in the hospital for a month after the surgery. When I got discharged and came home, I did not really understand what had happened. After almost six months, there was no improvement in my condition. I used to be in bed all the time, my family members used to feed me.""After one year I got a call and I was told there was a camp happening in my district where they are providing wheelchairs to people like me. My sister persuaded me to go to the camp. When I went there, there were doctors who did my checkup and they said that I should come to their hospital and get trained in using a wheelchair. They taught me how to use a wheelchair and do my tasks on my own. It took me one year to learn all this," she added.

When asked about dreaming of playing basketball at a point, where people quit their dreams, the international wheelchair basketball player said, "It was during this time that I came across some boys who were playing wheelchair basketball. I approached them and asked if I could play with them, and they agreed. I was told that the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India happening in Srinagar and a national-level team would be selected for Wheelchair Basketball. I wanted to go there and keep myself busy so I could deal with my depression better. I went to Srinagar and I played with many boys and girls who were like me and I got selected at the National level.

"It was very surprising because I had never played basketball in my life before. This way, basketball also became a therapy for me", Ishrat said further.

Ishrat Akhtar is the first woman to represent India at the international level in the wheelchair basketball tournament. She recently represented India in Thailand in an International tournament. (ANI)