Nari Shakti Diksha Dagar

‘I See Myself as a Symbol of Nari Shakti, the Emerging Spirit of India’

Nari Shakti Diksha Dagar

Diksha Dagar, an Arjuna Award recipient, recounts her journey of turning challenges into stepping stones to success as India’s star professional golfer. Her story:

Looking back at my life, I realize that each challenge I faced was an opportunity waiting to be seized. I was born with profound bilateral hearing loss, hence my world was initially silent. However, my parents, undeterred by my congenital limitation, embarked on a relentless journey to help me overcome the disability. Little did they know that this journey would lead me to become India’s No. 1 Ladies Amateur Golfer and an inspiration to many!

In 2005, when I was four year old, a ray of hope emerged when I was evaluated for a Cochlear Implant at a prestigious medical institutions like Army Hospital, Delhi, AIIMS, and AFMC Pune. The surgical fitting of the implant in my right ear by Cdr (Dr) Dilip Raghavan at AFMC in August 2005 proved a turning point. Systematic rehabilitation, speech therapy, and hearing exercises in Pune, Indore, and Delhi followed. This gradually built my vocabulary and helped me integrate into a school with normal students, a milestone that boosted my confidence.

My journey into the world of golf began at the Army Golf Course in Delhi. Though my hearing limitations affected my friendships, my mother stood by as a pillar of strength. Inspired by my brother’s early interest in golf, my parents encouraged me to start playing at the age of seven. Little did we know that this would unearth a hidden talent.

Seven years later, at the age of 14, I proudly claimed the title of India’s No. 1 Ladies Amateur Golfer in 2015. This was just the beginning. In time I would see myself competing on the international stage.

In 2019, when I was 18, I transitioned into professional golf, making a splash on the Ladies European Tour by winning the South African Ladies Open, and became the youngest and only the second Indian to achieve this feat. Subsequent victories in the Ladies Czech Open (2023), Armco Team Series London (2021), Singapore Ladies Amateur Championship (2018), and others solidified my position.

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During the 2023 Ladies European Tour, I set a new record, finishing 3rd on the year-long OOM (order of merit). My participation in 29 international tournaments across 21 countries in four continents showcased my determination and love for the sport.

As of now, I stand qualified for the Paris Olympics 2024, ranked 44th, a testament to the progress I’ve made. My current World Ranking of 161 has seen a remarkable improvement from 415 at the beginning of the year.

Beyond the golf course, I found recognition in the Forbes Asia 2021 under 30 list, with even Mr. Amitabh Bachchan acknowledging my journey on a KBC show. Nominated for the Arjuna Award for three consecutive years, I have been felicitated by dignitaries such as the Prime Minister of India, Chief Minister of Haryana, Chief of Army Staff, Forum of Sports Journalists of India, and the Delhi Government.

In this incredible journey, the support of the Indian Army, particularly from late Gen Bipin Rawat and Lt Gen (retd) Abhay Krishna, played a crucial role. Their encouragement and assistance during the years 2014 to 2019 were instrumental in shaping my path. The Army Golf Course in Delhi, where Lt Gen (retd) Abhay Krishna, spotted my talent, became a decisive moment.

Turning my disability into strength, despair into hope, and adversity into opportunity, I consider myself a symbol of Nari Shakti, reflecting the emerging spirit of India. My story aims to inspire girls, youth, and parents to embrace challenges and turn them into stepping stones towards success. The happiness I felt knew no bounds when I received the prestigious National Sports Award, the Arjuna Award, from the President of India on January 9, 2024.

As told to Deepti Sharma

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3 months ago

We should not forget Lt Gen Abhay Krishna’s contribution in success of Neeraj Chopra.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ajit
3 months ago

Good leaders like late Gen Bipin Rawat & Lt Gen Abhay Krishna have vision & inspire others to help them turn vision into reality. The true example is Diksha Dagar, an Arjuna Award recipient.

3 months ago

An inspiration for Generations to come. Congratulations to the strong girl and her parents. More so to Lt Gen (Retd) Abhay Krishna and Late Gen Bipin Rawat for supporting the talent when the time was right. May you shine like a star “Diksha Dagar” the world will always cherish you.

Last edited 3 months ago by Nishant
3 months ago

You are an inspiration for many

3 months ago

Lt Gen Abhay Krishna is a hidden Hero who has changed the life of many people.. and Doesn’t even show off …

2 months ago

You’ve earned the recognition due to your sheer hard work , grit , discipline & mental strength, ably supported by your parents at every step. The support by the Army is only a catalyst. Congrats… Wishing you more trophies in your cupboard. Proud of you.

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