From Kashmir to the US, the story of the Valley’s first woman wheelchair basketball player

At the age of 12, Inshah Bashir met with an accident which left her wheelchair-bound. Despite this, she took up wheelchair basketball and competed at the national level in 2017. Now, she is all set to represent India at the Sports Visitor Programme 2019 to be held in the US.

There are many Indian athletes who are physically challenged but are still  setting benchmarks in various sporting events. Among them is 24-year-old Inshah Bashir who is the first woman wheelchair basketball player from Jammu & Kashmir.

Inshah was left wheelchair-bound at the age of 15 when she met with an accident that caused a spinal injury. A year earlier, she had diagnosed with a stomach ulcer that led to bleeding when she coughed and was only 14 back then.

Inshah Bashir, source She The People

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Inshah hails from Budgam district which lacks proper medical facilities. She told The Logical Indian,

I was in class 12th when this incident happened. Following treatment for a major spinal injury proper, I became dependent on the wheelchair. Lack of proper medical facilities in Budgam even made it more difficult for my family and I was confined indoors. But my family’s constant support helped me to overcome that phase.

Inshah was an avid basketball lover since her childhood days. But what motivated her to take up the sport was witnessing people with disabilities like her playing the sport.

She saw this during a visit to the Shafqat Rehabilitation Center in Srinagar and since then she has never looked back. Even though there wasn’t any women’s in the valley, Inshah used to practice with the resources available and often play with the boys’ team.

Bashir practicing basketball with other players, source The Logical Indian

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Speaking to She The People, she said,

I saw some people like me and even in worse condition than me playing basketball. They suggested that I join them. At first, I felt I may not be able to do it, but then I did, and felt this game is interesting and convenient to play on a wheelchair.

In 2017, Inshah was selected in a team called “Rest of India” at the national level.

Little did she know that after nine years of her struggle and hard work, she would be invited by the US Consulate to participate in the Sports Visitor Programme 2019 to be held at North Carolina, USA.

Inshah Bashir with the boys' basketball team, source The Logical Indian.

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Just like any other sportsperson, Inshah goes to the gym daily. Now her only aim is to bring a change in the Indian sporting scenario for women and bring out hidden talent, reports She The People.

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