Vishwas: The word means trust. Trust gives one hope and in belief in a better tomorrow. Vishwas K.S., certainly lived up to his name when he lost his hands at the age of 10 and never gave up. Now, the happy 27-year-old boy from Bangalore is a champion swimmer, dancer and martial artist.
“I was playing around a newly constructed house when I fell down on a live wire. I came in direct contact with the high voltage wire that was passing through the house. My dad immediately rushed to save me and in the process lost his own life. I was hospitalised and both my hands were amputated later as I was in coma for almost two months,” recounts Vishwas on the tragedy that befell his family in the year 2000.
He went on to complete his education and finished his graduation in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in commerce. When he tried to get out into the real world, he was met with rejection. He was told he wouldn’t be able to work and wouldn’t amount to anything.
“People used to question my disability. So I was just sitting at home without any work,” says Vishwas who sat at home for almost year and a half because he was rejected for his disability.
Enter his friends: Chethan Kumar. B, Yogesh, Gurumurthy.L, Uday. M, Nandu, Supreeth K S and Vasu K S, all of whom who played a played a pivotal role along his journey. They introduced him to swimming and taught him how to manage his body movements in water.
Besides his friends, Vishwas was supported by his coaches Scindia, K T Mathew and Tamilian sir as well. The NGO ‘Astha’ and its head Sunil Jain have been his pillars of strength since his early days as a swimmer.
“The first time I entered a pool, I was just jumping in the pool like a small kid. For two weeks I was just playing in the water. I used to spend 40 minutes in the pool running from one end of the pool to the other. Whenever I slipped in water, my friends were there to pick me up. After that I completely lost my fear and then slowly progressed to four and five-foot deep water. And that’s how I decided to swim.” recalls Vishwas on his first experience in the swimming pool. He soon hit the pool for an hour or so regularly.
It took him almost a year to learn swimming and with his friends’ help he learned freestyle and backstroke within two-and-a-half months. Later on at the National Swimming Competition, he saw other disabled swimmers swimming like fishes and this pushed him to learn the butterfly and breaststroke as well. Today it’s been almost four years that he has started swimming and continues to do so with the same passion and love.
With the support he received, Vishwas has won three silvers and a bronze at the 2016 Speedo Can Am Para-swimming Championships held in Canada. Currently, he is preparing for the National Swimming Championship which will be held in Rajasthan at the end of this month. His dream is to represent India at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and bring laurels to the nation.
Vishwas is a passionate dancer and has a red belt in martial arts. His passion for dancing took him to dance reality shows and helped him showcased his skills in front of the globe.
“My day begins at 5.30 and goes all the way till 8.30 in the evening. My swimming training is for about two hours in the morning and in the evening. In between, I cook the food myself or eat at my grandmother’s place. If I get more time then I go and dance in my friend’s studio as well. During weekends, I go for martial arts training and now I am aiming to get a black belt as well,” says Vishwas who has already earned a red belt in martial arts.
“Martial arts have helped me in washing my own clothes, cooking food, keeping the house clean and to perform other daily activities. Martial art exercises help me a lot and come in handy in real life as well. This is what my routine has been since the last five years. This is what has been my work since I live alone at home. I am feeling very happy that now I am independent and doing things on my own,” says Vishwas.