The future of Indian Tennis, Malikaa Marathe from Pune was ranked as the No.1 player in the All India Tennis Association rankings for Girls Under-14 category for the year 2017. This 14-year old girl who suffered from Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) which weakened her eyesight at the age of 4 for almost five years is now the future of Tennis in the Country creating records at such a young age. People who always used to make fun of Malikaa during her childhood are now praising her for her tremendous play.
Malikaa Marathe was born on April 30, 2003, in Pune. Her father Abhijit is an Engineer and her mother Vaijayanthi is a Dentist. Malikaa Marathe spent her childhood like every other child of her age, with innocent smiles and doing crazy things until she got attacked by Amblyopia (so called as “Lazy Eye”) at the age of 4.
Amblyopia is a result of breakage of the collaborative functioning of brain and eye. She got affected in the right eye which will make her brain choose the more functioning eye which could make her right eye completely dead. So, to resolve this, she used to wear a patch on her left eye for almost four years to strengthen her right eye.People used to make fun of her for wearing the patch.
“Behind every young child who believes in himself, is a parent who believed First.”
Malikaa’s parents played a crucial role in her every success. In general, women in sports have to face a chain of barriers fighting against the society, and yet they get less support and recognition compared to men. But these obstacles are negligible compared to her parents commitment to support their child in her chosen field making her the successful Tennis player in the Under-14 category.
“against all the odds, a seed rises from darkness and beautifies the universe.” – Matshona Dhliwayo
She started playing Tennis when she was 6 and half years as a recreational activity which turned into an interest. The 1st person to recognize her talent is coach Sandeep Kirtane, a former Tennis player, and Arjuna Awardee. Under his guidance, she started playing tournaments. After winning the State Level Under-10 title, her parents were convinced to let her pursue Tennis as a career.
“It is so important to enable people to use their abilities and talents to support themselves.” – Temple Grandin
Driven by self-motivation and strong mental strength, she excelled in the game through rigorous training and decorated her gallery with the victories she accomplished.
Her biggest compliments are from Imran Mirza, Sania Mirza’s father and from her coach Sandeep Kirtane who compared her with the Tennis star, Sania Mirza. She played 350-400 matches till date and played against players from Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia. She has been working hard to achieve her goals and hope to play in the Junior Grand Slams.
Everyone faces problems at some point or the other which makes them realize the value of life. It doesn’t matter how terrible they are, how we react to them is all that matters. So, utilize the best possible resources and try to make some impact on the society adding value to the nation and your own.
References : Your Story,The Field Scroll, The Better India
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