It was the umbilical cord, which tied Haridas up in his mother’s womb, did not allow him to grow. He was thus born with a condition called dwarfism and his growth stunted when he was just under 4.5 feet tall. Haridas struggled with his short stature for a long time, but it was he who emerged victorious at the end. He is now a successful bodybuilder and even went on to become the state champion in the body building competition, in his category.
Haridas (24), son of Poonkunnam natives Aranathu Ravi and Omana, was born with many health problems which were the result of a difficult pregnancy. It was only after the baby turned a year old that the parents realized about his disability. Even when everyone around him doubted his abilities, Haridas grew up with great confidence in himself.
When he was studying at the Vivekodayam School, he learnt to ride a bicycle all by himself. As he was shorter than his peers, he would push the cycle forward a bit before jumping onto the seat. Later he became obsessed with scooter. His legs won’t touch the platform of the scooter, if he sat on the seat. So he would stand on the platform and take the scooter forward before sitting on the seat and riding it. When he has to stop at the traffic signals, he would jump to the platform, with great flexibility, and control the speed of the scooter.
Gym trainer, bodybuilder
Even while he was studying in the school, Haridas was fascinated by the gymnasium at Poonkunnam. He often expressed his admiration for the owner of the gymnasium and former Mister India, Joshy. Motivated by Joshy, Haridas began body building, four years ago. He wasn’t able to use a few machines in the gym due to his height.
However, that didn’t stop Haridas from training hard. He began to take part in body building competitions, from two years ago onwards. Last year, he became the district champion in the category of the physically challenged. Overcoming several challenges, Haridas soon became the state champion as well. Four months ago, he began to work as a gym instructor in Muthuvara. Now he has more than 60 disciples in many batches. The youngster plans to take part in the Federation Cup Body Building championship which will be held in Bhopal this month.