First Deaf Boy to Win Gold at the Khelo India Youth Games

Dhanush Srikanth became the first deaf boy to win a gold at the Khelo India youth games.

The Khelo India Youth Games held in Pune, was very special for 16 year old Dhanush Srikanth from Telangana. Dhanush won a gold medal  in the under-21 boy’s 10m air rifle final, at the Balewadi sports stadium in Pune on Friday. Dhanush was born deaf.

This gold medal is very special as he became the only shooter in the country to win a gold medal in the regular category and not in a competition for deaf shooters. In the qualification round, Dhanush scored his best score of 629.7. Dhanush scored 248.9 and defeated junior World Cup bronze medalist Arjun Babuta.

Dhanush’s parents never put him in a special school for his education. His mother Asha said that, Dhanush was always interested in sports. He decided to take up shooting when he Gagan Narang opened the Gun for Glory Academy in Secunderabad. He trained at this academy for two years. He qualified to the Project Leap Program which prepares athletes for the 2024 olympics.

Dhanush’s coaches and a former shooter Neha Chavan said that, everyone learnt sign language to communicate with him. There are no signs about different shooting terms in sign language. So Dhanush’s coach came up with new signs to teach him better.

His mother is very confident that he will win many medals for India in the future.