It takes immense strength and willpower for people to accept or even tolerate physical pain or infirmity and get back to their aims and goals, after a disease or an accident has stopped them in their tracks. The motto of turning a weakness into strength is the guiding principle of this remarkable man’s life.
Inspired by his elder brother, Anand started going regularly to the gymnasium in his quest for building a perfect physique. An energetic teenager who was passionate about bodybuilding, Anand’s supple body showed the results of his hard work quickly enough. He even started training other students. He won the title of Mr Ludhiana at the tender age of 13.
However, things changed when he started experiencing pain in his lower back at the age of 15. Anand’s life turned around irreversibly one night, when he was rushed to a hospital due to the unbearable pain. The physicians discovered a fist-sized tumour in the teenager’s lower back that required immediate surgery. Though Anand managed to survive spinal cord cancer, he was left paralysed from the waist down.
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The young boy with aspirations to be the best bodybuilder found himself bedridden, without any hope of recovery. Three years later, Anand returned to the gym on a wheelchair, coaxed by his former students. Though his family and friends were supportive, they were initially sceptical about Anand finding success. However, he soon erased the fears of his loved ones when he started winning competitions once again.
With help from his trainer Ravi Parashar, Anand soon got back to an intense fitness regime. His coach not only allowed Arnold to use his gym free of charge, but also encouraged him to dream big once again. Till date, Anand has been crowned Mr India three times. He won the title of Mr Punjab 12 times and has 27 other titles to his name as well. He is also the face of Muscle Mania and a brand ambassador for a nutrition supplement company, as well as a model for a range of popular action toys. Anand also amazed the audience and judges of a popular television reality show, India’s Got Talent, through his superb stunts performed on a wheelchair.
Anand takes pride in the fact that he never resorted to using steroids or any such harmful supplement to achieve his aims. The book, Weightless—A True Story of Courage and Inspiration, authored by Allen Woodman, tells his inspiring story. Anand wishes to motivate more people to overcome their physical disabilities and attain success, through a movie based on his struggle and winning against the odds.
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