In the heart of Manipur’s capital, Imphal, there is a bodybuilder who made the country proud. Khundrakpam Pradip Kumar Singh Despite being HIV positive, not only did he become an international bodybuilding champion, but he defied stereotyped beliefs and set a new standard for his positive thinking.
Behind his rigid body remains a warm-hearted man who has conquered every grief of life. Pradip, 48 Speaking about this, he revealed his journey.
Pradip’s father was a clerk in the government office and his mother was a school teacher. Everyone worked in his family, so Pradip always had to be alone at home. Being the youngest in the house, he found a lot of affection. Pradip was a good student at the school. Things changed when he started smoking with his friends at a very young age. By the time he reached class X, he started taking heroin injections. He started leaving his class and shifted his focus away from his studies. His parents got him enrolled in a college in Odisha to get rid of the bad company.
Pradip says – “I met a boy there and started taking drugs with him. Initially I used to bring good marks, but gradually my marks started coming down. At the same time I felt that my memory was also getting depleted. “
Pradip returned to Manipur in 1993. He quit his studies and became addicted to drugs. They started taking cough syrup as it was cheaper in Manipur and stole syringes from local dispensaries and injected heroin.
After some time he was gripped by cold and fever for ten days. The doctor sent him medicine but gradually his body became weak. The doctor then told him that he had tuberculosis and was also treated. But Pradip’s entire body started turning black and his body started to collapse.
When he spoke to the doctor about his illness, he came to know that he was HIV positive. Pradip says, “People started visiting me. I could not believe that I was going to die. ”
When his mother asked him his last wish, Pradip asked him to take him to Guwahati. He wanted to give life one last shot. Being HIV positive in our society is considered its own fault. Pradip got admitted in a hospital in Guwahati.
“They took me to a very dirty room without proper treatment. My dream of recovery was completely shattered. “
A crazy person was shifted into my room who kept shouting throughout the night. Pradip, hearing a heart-wrenching voice, started asking his mother to take him back home. He recalls the incident saying, “When I was leaving the hospital, I removed the needle of drip from my own hands and continued to bleed. The nurse did not even bother to see him.
For three years (2000–2002) Pradip did not even step out of the house. All his friends distanced him from them. Things changed when his sister brought him to the Champa plant. He realized how beautiful flowers bloom when plants are watered. They understood that life is a similar plant. He can live if he is well taken care of.
Pradip wanted to build his body. His doctor forbade him to exercise but Pradip continued. He started doing weight lifting in the gym without a trainer. He learned by reading books and watching videos.
In 2006, Pradip participated in Mr. Manipur contest and won a silver medal. He says “When I saw the medal, I cried a lot. It was nothing short of a dream for me because I was the same person who was bed-ridden until some time ago. ”
In 2012, Pradip won the Mr. South Asia title. He took bronze in the Mr. World Championship in Bangkok.
He sparked a ray of hope for people living with HIV and said they could do everything. They say that people have to understand that we too have a right to live and people should not look at us from a different point of view.
Pradip has been offered a job by the Manipur state government. He has also been made the brand ambassador for HIV / AIDS by the Manipur State AIDS Control Society. He has also initiated a pan-India HIV awareness campaign in Delhi.
A book has also been written on his wonderful life journey “I am HIV positive, so what ?:” A World Champions Fight Against Drugs, Disease and Discrimination. ” It is written by Jayant Kalita.
Pradip’s courage fought against death and gave his life a second chance. He is a true motivational personality. Such individuals have emerged as a ray of hope for all those who still rely on hard work and want to achieve some incredible achievement.