Mumbai: With sheer passion, hard work and dedication, one can achieve anything in life and these are the qualities that make Major Surendra Poonia, an international award-winning sportsman.
The Limca book record holder, physician and former Special Forces officer of the Indian Army, Poonia has had the rare distinction of winning medals in power-lifting and athletic events in four consecutive world championships.
“Passion, dedication and hard work can make one scale new heights and I believe there is no substitute for hard work,” said Poonia while talking to Free Press Journal in Mumbai recently. Surendra Poonia did his schooling in his village Rajpura, attended school in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Patan, Sikar, and graduated from the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune.
“I am proud of my village and my people are proud of me as I am the first from my village to become an army officer and a doctor,” says Major Poonia who commissioned in the Indian Army in August 2001.
“We do have a lot of talented youngsters, but unfortunately they are left without any direction and while some are selected, many are left out,” said the officer who has served on the world’s highest battlefield – Siachen.
However, he believes that day is not very far when India will soon find itself on top of the global sports scenario as in recent times; things are moving in the right direction.
In 2008, he was selected for the oldest and most prestigious Parachute -Cavalry regiment of India -The President’s Bodyguard (PBG), which serves directly under the Supreme Commander of the Nation.
The PBG is the only Para-Cavalry regiment in the world. He served under two Presidents of India - Pratibha Devi Singh Patil and Pranab Mukherjee.
In the year 2010, he was the first Indian sportsman to win three medals in the World Medical Games at Croatia. Subsequently, in 2011 at Las-Palmas, Spain, he won two gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal at the same meet.
Today, he is a sportsperson, a fitness expert, a social worker, a youth icon and a speaker combining his experience as a soldier, a paratrooper, and a medical doctor.
Major Surendra Poonia, VSM of the Fit Bharat movement, is passionate about fitness and believes in taking this passion to the rest of the country. He recently concluded a 30-day #StepChallenge in collaboration with Fast&Up, India’s leading sports and active nutrition brand.
The idea behind this was to get India fit while promoting an active lifestyle amongst the people of India- something the Major is working towards through the movement and campaigns such as these.