Indian para-athlete and badminton player Manasi G Joshi has just been honored with the title of Time Magazine's Next Generation Leader. The accolade comes as just another feather in the cap of the stalwart who in June 2019 became World No 2 in SL3 singles.
Sharing the news of being named Time Magazine's Next Generation Leader on Twitter, Joshi said, "The younger me would have never believed it that some day I will be on the cover of TIME and be called the next generation leader. This is so huge".
She also said that she was feeling proud and "responsible" for being the "voice of an underrepresented community not just in India but across the world and I am glad that my sport is helping in amplify my voice and thoughts".
Who is Manasi Joshi?
Joshi has been playing badminton since the age of six. An Electronics Engineering graduate from K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering, University of Mumbai, and the daughter of a retired Bhabha Atomic Research Centre centre, Joshi worked as a software engineer. That was untill a fatal accident took led to the amputation of her leg in 2011. Not one to give up, Joshi began playing badminton as part of her rehabilitation therapy. By 2019, she had become World No 2 in SL3 singles.
It was upon the urging of another paralympic athlete that Joshi seriously took up para-sports. In 2015, she won silver the Para-Badminton World Championship mixed doubles category. In 2016, she won Bronze in women's singles & women's doubles, Para-Badminton Asian Championships and then again for women's singles the next year. In 2018, Joshi went on to win bronze for India at the Asian Para Games. And in 2019's Para-Badminton World Championship, Joshi finally struck gold in the women's singles category. Her meteoric rise has made Joshi an inspiration to para-athletes as well as women across the world.
In 2018, Joshi joined the Pullela Gopichand Academy and started receiving training at the prestigious institution which boasts of illustrious names such as PV Sindhu and Sai Praneeth. Following her 2019 win, an elated Joshi had admitted that her strenuous training at the Academy recently had indeed done wonders to her campaign. But it has taken more than just her training at the Academy to bring Joshi where she is today.