Adeeba Ali: Shooting star's rise from wheelchair to winning gold in nationals

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 25-12-2023
Adeeba Ali showing her gold and silver medals with her father
Adeeba Ali showing her gold and silver medals with her father


Ameena Majid Siddiqui

The 19-year-old Adeeba Ali of Nizamuddin Basti, New Delhi, has raised the bar for those seeking to rise in life notwithstanding physical limitations. The para-athlete recently ended up becoming an inspiration to thousands of people as she won gold and silver medals in the 26th National Shooting Championship competition organized by Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy, Bhopal.

Amina Majeed Siddiqui of Awaz spoke with her at her home. Excerpts from the conversation:

How did you think about going to the National Shooting Championship competition and how many days did you prepare for it?

I had always liked sports, but soon after the accident, I started finding what was best for me. After a lot of searching, I met my coaches Subhash Rana and Rohit Sir. They showed me the path to getting back into sports. They suggested I start with competing on the track and gradually aim for the zonal, and the nationals. So after gradual preparation, I qualified for the National championships. It has been 10 months since I started preparing.

How did this accident happen?

It was five years ago, I was looking out from the balcony of my house (Fourth floor). I foot slipped and I fell on the ground floor. I felt dizzy. At first, I thought I was falling backward but no, I was falling forward. Because of that my spine was fractured and due to that my legs do not work.

Have you participated in other competitions before this?

I have also participated in District Level, Zonal, para-zonal, North Zone, and Para National. This is my 5th match.

What inspired you to take up sports?

My inspiration is my father. He has always been promoting sports. He is very fond of cricket. So Papa knows the importance of playing sports. Just as education is important, sports are also important. Secondly, my ideal is Avni Lekhara (Olympian); she is the first woman who won gold medal in shooting and the Para Olympics, she is a big inspiration to me. 

How did your journey in sports start, when did you think that you should go into this field?

I wanted to be associated with sports, so I started searching. Earlier I used to participate in basketball, football, and other sports. But after the accident, everything seemed to be over for some time. I searched for a new sport that I could play with my physical limitations. I wanted to leave the accident behind because whatever happened had happened. I had to see what I could do. I came to know about Para Games which people with disabilities can also play. This gave a new meaning to me. I came to know that despite being disabled one can still play. I came to know about shooting and that yes, I realized I am made for it, then I started playing. It was not so good in the beginning. Then with time, I got better. I gained a new identity and now shooting has become an important part of my life, if I don't practice for a day, I feel something is missing in life.

What is your plan for the future?

I intend that I want to do better every day. I want to work very hard.

What message would you like to give to those who give up on small things?

Adeeba Ali with her mother Reshma Ali

I would like to say that you should have faith in yourself, because if you give up on yourself, how will others support you? If you have this feeling within you that no matter what happens to me, you can still do this work, then you can achieve anything. The most important thing is to have faith in yourself.

I also spoke with Adiba Ali's mother Reshma Ali. She told me:

“Adiba used to lie on the bed after the accident and had lost courage. Then one day she thought about how she could move on in life and do better. Initially, she was bedridden for one and a half years. She slowly started reconciling to her condition and began painting. Despite being bedridden, she wrote examinations for 12th standard and did well. She is now pursuing a BA in English. After that she saw what else she could do, and then she watched Avni Lekhara's videos and said that if she can do it, I can also do it.

“She had never held a pistol in her hand. Her coach Subhash Rana worked very hard on her. Adeeba practices for 8 hours. If one wants to achieve something in life one surely has to do a lot of hard work and Adeeba did the same. She has made all of us proud. I intend to organize motivational camps for people facing disabilities. I want to tell them my daughter’s story. I want to tell people that you can do a lot despite being disabled. We will guide people on how a new life starts from here.”