Wrestler fought back from major paralysis

BORN FIGHTER: Indian wrestler Sangram Singh, 29, relaxes before the WWP Wrestling Extravaganza                    PICTURE: MIKE HOLMES
BORN FIGHTER: Indian wrestler Sangram Singh, 29, relaxes before the WWP Wrestling Extravaganza PICTURE: MIKE HOLMES

HANDSOME Bollywood wrestler, actor and reality television star Sangram Singh is more than just a powerhouse of muscles who tussles.

It is difficult to believe there was a time when the tall, broad-shouldered and well-defined celebrity – whose shy smile belies his steely physique – was told he would never be able stand or walk due to debilitating paralysis.

But that all changed when – despite medical evaluations – his mom proved mothers do in fact know best.

Indian-born Singh, 29 – who is in Port Elizabeth for a wrestling event at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) – was born prematurely and underweight in 1985.

That was the least of his problems growing up, as he was struck by arthritis which later developed into paralysis.

“I was round about the age of three years when the arthritis started. It started from my toes and as it developed I could not even lift up a glass of water,” he said.

It was not till around the age of nine that Singh started to recover, due to the persistent care of his mother – regardless of what the doctors said.

Growing up wheelchair-bound and having an older brother who was a wrestler, Singh had a strong desire to become a wrestler himself.

Through hard work and a mentorship, he became a renowned championship wrestler in India and remembered the words his mother once uttered to him: “In life there are two kinds of people – those who make history and those who read or write history.”

He made appearances on numerous reality shows in India such as Bigg Boss 7 [Big Brother] in which he was a finalist. And it was in Survivor India where he met his fiancée Payal Rohatgi.

Singh is currently in South Africa for the third time to wrestle in the WWP Commonwealth Championship belt today at NMMU’s Indoor Sports Centre.

His opponent will be Canadian Joe E Legend.

Singh was named WWP’s world’s best wrestler in 2012.

– Melitta Ngalonkulu

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