“When I look at these athletes, I feel like I am doing so less in front of them. These para athletes are the true epitome of confidence and hard work.
“I want my kids (though AbRam is so young) to get inspired from these players and I want to make them learn how to be confident and how to keep up the spirit of working hard always,” Shah Rukh said at the event here.
The 52-year-old actor revealed that a few months ago he wanted to “quit” everything.
“It was around August 15 or 16. I woke up in the morning… I felt like not going to work. I did not want to do more now. I wanted to cancel everything. I thought I have done so much, now I should stop everything and quit whatever I have been doing.”
But he found inspiration in Para-athlete Deepa Malik, a discus star, and other such athlete’s life stories which made him understand that life is not meant for giving up.
“I switched on the TV and all of a sudden, an interview of Deepa Malik flashed on the screen. I started watching it. When I watched her interview, she made me realise how wrong I was feeling about quitting everything,” he said.
The occasion saw the presence of more than 190 para athletes including Deepa, the first Indian woman to win a medal in Paralympic Games and Para high jumper, Varun Bhatti.
As Shah Rukh’s Meer Foundation has been associated with the Indian Para Olympic contingent, all the players were extremely happy with the actor’s support.
Deepa felt having Shah Rukh’s support will make people more aware about para athletes.
“Many people have no clue about us, but there are millions of people who follow Shah Rukh. So I believe through SRK’s association with us, people will get to know about us also and follow us.
“Earlier, we all used to feel orphaned but now with support like this, we feel that we have a family out there,” said Deepa, a mother of two girls.
Shah Rukh greeted the players and wished them luck. He also got a jersey with “Khan” written on it from Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) President Rao Inderjit Singh.
Asked if he wishes to have a team of para athletes, Shah Rukh, the owner of Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders said: “Like we have Indian Premier League, I would love to see sport leagues comprising of nation’s such strong para athletes.
“In future, if I get a chance, I will definitely get myself attached with a team of para athletes.”
Shah Rukh also motivated the specially abled athletes with a few words of encouragement, saying: “We all are incomplete. Be it physically or emotionally or mentally, no one is complete in every aspect. Instead of feeling bad about it, we all should fight with our disabilities and make our life complete.”
The Para Asian Games will be held at Jakarta in Indonesia from October 6-13.