There are sportspersons who are absolutely incredible and have just about everything working in their favour. Then, there are those who overcome all obstacles thrown their way and don't let disabilities deter them from turning their dreams into reality. Hearing-impaired golfer Diksha Dagar, who recently turned the youngest Indian to win the Ladies European Tour title in Cape Town, South Africa, has been successful in rising above her physical challenge and become success story like no other.
Diksha, who was first introduced to golf by her father and caddie Narinder Dagar when she was barely 8, always had a problem finding right clubs. Reason? She plays with the left hand. Considering the fact that the left-handed players are less than 10 per cent of the golfers, equipment importers in India more often than not don't cater to their needs.
"Golf especially for those who are left-handed isn't popular in India. It isn't easy to get clubs for left-handed golfers which goes on to explain that such players don't get the much-needed support and equipments. However, I was fortunate enough to get the clubs which I needed to play the game," she explains.
Popular for playing aggressive golf, Diksha was just a few months old when she was diagnosed with hearing impairment. But cochlear implant that was done on her before she turned six, restored hearing only in the right ear. "While I was studying, it wasn't easy to understand what my teachers said. There were several challenges that I had to overcome. It took me some time to adapt to the voice of my teachers, but with consistent efforts, I could fathom what they explained," she says.
Even though Diksha is proficient in other sports such as tennis, swimming and athletics, she decided to pursue golf because she wanted to play like her father. "It has been my dream to play exactly like my father. I have always been inspired by his passion for the sport. While I thoroughly enjoyed playing golf with my father and brother, it turned tough when I faced difficulties in hitting the ball. Initially, I would hit in different directions - left, right, centre - almost everywhere. It isn't easy to adapt to a game like golf. Golf looks tough, but if you remain consistent in your efforts, and spend time to understand the technique, you can get hold of a better golf game," she adds.
Despite several odds stacked against her, Diksha continued to succeed. Besides winning the Singapore Ladies Amateur Open, she bagged a silver medal at the Deaflympics in Turkey, registered the best-ever score by an Indian at the Queen Sirikit Cup and also represented India at the Asian Games.
The next time you hit a low point in life and want to get encouraged to follow your dreams, and never give up on yourself, make sure you read the inspiring tale of Diksha Dagar.