HomeOthersJourney Of Murlikant Petkar: From War Injury to Paralympic Glory

Journey Of Murlikant Petkar: From War Injury to Paralympic Glory

Murlikant Petkar’s life is a story of resilience, determination, and triumph. This inspiring journey has been brought to life in Kabir Khan’s upcoming film ‘Chandu Champion,’ featuring Kartik Aaryan. Set to release on June 14, 2024, the film explores the incredible achievements of India’s first Paralympic gold medalist. Here’s a closer look at the man behind the legend.

Early Life of Murlikant Petkar

Murlikant Petkar was born in 1944 in Peth Islampur, a small village in the Sangli district of Maharashtra, India. He grew up in a humble family, with his father, who was a farmer, and his mother, who managed the household. From a young age, Petkar displayed a keen interest in sports, participating actively in various local competitions and showcasing his talent.

Joining the Indian Army

Petkar joined the Indian Army, where his athletic abilities were further honed. He represented the Army in boxing, swimming, and other sports, quickly making a name for himself as a versatile and talented athlete.

The Life-Changing Injury

Petkar’s life took a dramatic turn during the Indo-Pak War of 1965. While serving on the front lines, he was severely injured in a bomb explosion, leading to paralysis, and loss of his memory. This devastating injury ended his career as a soldier and athlete, leaving him confined to a wheelchair. While serving as a Jawan in the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) in the Indian Army, he got an opportunity to represent the Indian Army in Boxing at the International Services Sports Meet 1964 in Tokyo.

Rehabilitation and Inspiration

Despite the bleak circumstances, Petkar’s determination remained unshaken. During his rehabilitation at the Army Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre in Pune, he found new inspiration in sports adapted for disabled individuals. Swimming became his new passion, and he began to train rigorously.

The Road to Paralympic Success

Petkar’s journey to the Paralympics was marked by relentless hard work and perseverance. He participated in national and international events, gradually making a name for himself in the world of para-sports.

The 1972 Summer Paralympics

His efforts culminated in the 1972 Summer Paralympics in Heidelberg, Germany. Competing in the 50m freestyle swimming event, Petkar won a gold medal, setting a world record with a time of 37.33 seconds. This historic achievement made him India’s first Paralympic gold medalist.

Key Influences and Mentors

Throughout his journey, Petkar was supported by several mentors and coaches who recognized his potential and encouraged him to pursue his goals. The support from his family, especially during his rehabilitation, played a crucial role in his recovery and success.

Inspirational Figures

Petkar often cited his fellow athletes and their resilience as a source of inspiration. Their stories of overcoming adversity motivated him to push his boundaries and strive for excellence.

The Legacy of Murlikant Petkar

Petkar’s story is not just about his achievements in sports but also about his indomitable spirit and the message of hope he represents. His journey from a war-torn soldier to a Paralympic champion continues to inspire many.

Recognition and Honors

In recognition of his contributions, Petkar has been honoured with various awards and accolades. He was awarded the Padma Shri award in 2018. His life story is a testament to the power of determination and the human spirit’s ability to overcome the greatest of odds.

Award/Achievement Year Place
Raksha Medal 1965 India
Gold in the Paraplegic category for 50 M Swimming 1968 International Games, Moscow
Gold in 50 M Freestyle Swimming 1969 Stoke Mandeville International Paraplegic Meet, England
Gold in 50 M Freestyle Swimming, Silver in Javelin Throw, Bronze in Shot-put 1970 3rd Commonwealth Paraplegic Games, Edinburgh, Scotland
Gold in 50 M Freestyle Swimming, Silver in Javelin Throw 1971 Stoke Mandeville, England
Best Swimmer Shield 1971 Mumbai, India
Gold medal and new world record (37.33 seconds) in 50 M Swimming 1972 Summer Paralympics, Heidelberg, Germany
Gaurav Padak 1973
Gold and another world record in Swimming, Silver in Shot-put 1975 Stoke Mandeville International Paraplegic Meet, UK
Shiv Chattrapati Award, the first instance of paraplegic sportsman receiving this award 1975 Mumbai, Inida
The National Champion for 7 Years straight 1976 Pune, India
Krida Pratishthan for being an outstanding sportsman 1979 Mumbai, India
Outstanding Sportsman Award 1981 India
Gold and another world record in 50 M Swimming, Bronze Medal in Javelin Throw 1982 International FESPIC Games, Hong Kong
Padma Shri Award 2018 India


‘Chandu Champion’: Bringing His Story to Life

‘Chandu Champion’ features Kartik Aaryan in the lead role, with a talented ensemble cast including Vijay Raaz, Rajpal Yadav, Bhagyashree Patwardhan, and Aniruddh Dave. Directed by Kabir Khan and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala, the film promises to be a moving portrayal of Petkar’s life.

Trailer and Release

The trailer for ‘Chandu Champion,’ released on May 19, 2024, has already garnered significant attention. The film is set to hit theaters on June 14, 2024, and is expected to inspire audiences with its powerful narrative.


Murlikant Petkar’s life story is a shining example of courage, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. As ‘Chandu Champion’ brings this extraordinary tale to the big screen, it serves as a reminder of the incredible achievements of India’s first Paralympic gold medalist and the enduring spirit of a true champion.

Also Read: The Real Story of Murlikant Petkar, Inspiration Behind Karthik Aryan ‘Chandu Champion’

Manish Singh
Manish Singhhttps://infojankari.com/
Manish Singh is a digital marketer by profession and have worked in health industry for more than 5 years. He is a certified Naturopathist and a yoga and meditation practioner for over 6 years. He is also a writer and editor in various content types and topics.


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