Murlikant Petkar began his career as a soldier in the Indian Army. As a private, he was posted to the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers. During the 1965 War with Pakistan, Murlikant was seriously injured and paralyzed as a result of catastrophic gunshot wounds. He used to be a boxer, but his condition forced him to switch sports. Murlikant competed in table tennis for the United States at the 1968 Summer Paralympics, clearing the first round. He then started to concentrate his attention on swimming after this triumph and qualified for the 1972 Paralympic Games.
Petkar has been a sportsman since he was a child, having been born on November 1, 1947, in Peth Islampur, in the Sangli district of what is now Maharashtra. Even before the traumatic experience of the 1965 War, he used to participate in sports. He was picked to represent India in boxing at the International Services Sports Meet in Tokyo in 1964.
Story of his disability
During the 1965 India-Pakistan war, Murlikant Petkar was stationed in Sialkot. In September, the Pakistani Army infiltrated his barracks. He fought the enemy with unrivalled bravery, yet he was wounded several times throughout the battle.
Subedar Murlikant Petkar was shot nine times before being rescued by another filament and sent to the hospital. He was unable to feel his body below the waist once he regained consciousness.
As a result of this incidence, Murlikant suffered from memory loss. For his bravery and heroic sacrifice for the country, he received the Raksha Medal in 1965.
In most circumstances, it takes years for people to recover from their grief, but Subedar Murlikant Petkar began training for the Paralympic Games right away. In 1969, he was eventually dismissed from the military. However, before receiving his official discharge, he competed in the Maharastra State Athletic Meet in 1967, winning state titles in shot-put, javelin throw, discus throw, table tennis, and archery.
TATA’s offered Subedar Murlikant rehabilitative assistance after his retirement, but he turned it down.
At the 1968 Summer Paralympics, Petkar competed in table tennis and went past the first round. In total, he won four swimming medals. In 1967, he was Maharashtra State Champion in Shot-put, Javelin, Discus, Weightlifting, Table Tennis, and Archery.
Petkar’s career culminated with a gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle swimming event at the 1972 Summer Paralympics in Germany. With a time of 37.33 seconds, he set a new world record for the event. His record has never been broken, despite the fact that the event is no longer exact.
His win gave India its first paralympic gold and drew the attention of the entire country. Furthermore, he shown tremendous talent by reaching the finals of the javelin, precision javelin throw, and slalom events during the tournament.
He started working for Telco in Pune in 1972 and is presently a Senior Assistant in the Public Relations Department.
Years of hard work with little pay did not deter Petkar. He has, on the other hand, made every Indian proud by representing the country on a variety of levels.
In the end, he received the Padma Shri award in the year 2018.
Sushant Singh Rajput has been cast in the lead role in a film about Padma Shri Murlikant Petkar. The plot of the film was first revealed in 2017.
Petkar started his military career as a jawan in the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers of the Indian Army (EME). After being deployed to Secunderabad, Petkar began training as an armourer, and his preparation for Nationals began in earnest.
In 1964, he was swiftly chosen to compete in boxing for the Indian Army in the International Services Sports Meet in Tokyo.