Niranjan Mukundan is a perfect example of how limitations should never hold you back from achieving your dreams. Gone through extreme adversity, the 22-year old Indian para-swimming star came through with flying colors when he was crowned as the Junior World Champion in 2015. Born with a medical condition termed as Spina Bifida, Niranjan has undergone sixteen surgeries and vigorous swimming lessons to strengthen his leg muscles. But he never lost hope and with the support of his parents, he became the swimming champion.
When Niranjan started swimming at the age of 7, he took to the water like a fish and showed drastic progress. Other than his parents, his coach John Christopher recognized his talent and helped him become what he is today. Fueled by his unrelenting ambition, he overcame all the odds and never let his disability stop him from achieving his goals. He has received several accolades at the national and international level in such a short span of time. Having won international medals at the IWAS World Junior Games in 2013 with two silver medals in 100m freestyle and butterfly along with two bronze medals in the 100m backstroke and 50m freestyle, he secured a World ranking of No. 17. In 2014 IWAS World Junior Games, he won a whopping eight medals including three gold, two silver, and three bronze. To everyone’s surprise, he bagged 10 medals at IWAS World Junior Games 2015.
Born in Bangalore, Niranjan has completed his higher education from Jain University where he has been bestowed with the Achiever’s Award in 2015 from Dr. Chenraj Roychand, Chairman, JGI Group and President, Jain University. “Jain University has helped me in ways I did not think were possible – be it attendance, extra classes or special exams. You name it, Jain University has provided it to sportspersons. I am thankful to Dr. Roychand for having faith in me. He always managed time to interact with us and motivated us. I am also grateful to Dr. U.V. Shankar, Director of Sports, Jain University, for his unconditional support towards the Department of Sports and the sportspersons of the University,” he said.
In recognition of his exceptional performance in the field of sports, he was honored with the National Award (Best Sportsperson of the Year) in 2015. He has also bagged State’s Ekalavya Award 2016 for his superlative achievement. With a record of a bronze medal at the Para Asian Games 2014, 75 national medals, and 37 international medals, the journey has just begun for the young enthusiastic swimmer. Niranjan has set his eyes on the forthcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2020 Summer Paralympics.