Akshay Kumar joined the #SpreadTheLight campaign through a video message to Delhi-based gymnast Brijesh Yadav in which he gave him a pep talk and wished him a speedy recovery. He also invited him to work out with him in his gym in Mumbai.
Yadav injured himself earlier this year when he missed a step while completing a gymnastic move 'double front' and landed on his neck. He was severely injured and rushed to a nearby medical facility.
"The pain is so severe that it instantly paralyses the limbs, breathing gets laborious and the heart rate slows down to a dangerous level. 60 to 70 percent such patients die on the spot or on the way to the hospital," says Dr Ankush Garg, senior spine surgeon at Paras Hospital, Gurugram, where his spine was surgically repaired, according to a video posted by Quint.
DrGarg added that the surgery took seven to eight hours after which he was shifted to the ICU. "These type of surgeries and hospital stays cost a lot. The surgery itself may cost four to six lakhs. He is required to stay in the hospital for a month because such patients have to stay for a long time. The hospital stay for a month can be anywhere between five to six lakhs."
Given the modest background of his parents, Yadav’s family are in urgent need of Rs 10 lakh. His father is a Class 4 government employee and is unable to lead the donation drive. That is why his coach Rahul Chopra and former coach Arun Yadav have helmed the drive and appealed to the masses to help the budding gymnast.
Consequently, the campaign went viral on social media and a hashtag #SpreadTheLight flooded Twitter at the time of Diwali in order to provide the much-needed push to this initiative. Akshay Kumar’s message to Yadav is not only a relief to his family but also a sign of the success of the digital campaign.
Kumar has always been a sports enthusiast and has often appealed to the government to include martial arts in the school curriculum so that children can lead a balanced and healthy life. He holds a sixth degree black belt in Kyukai Gōjū-ryū karate himself.
The recent show of Dipa Karmakar in the Rio Olympics has done all Indians proud. It will be a great investment if we can help aspiring gymnasts like Yadav grow and encourage them to keep taking those leaps of faith for we will always be there to catch them when they fall.