By Ms Shainaz Baig
Pune, April 01, 2019: Mrunal, the mother of Rohit Sawant not only proved the proverb, “It takes someone brave to be a mother, someone strong to raise a child, and someone special to love someone more than herself ” to be true, but went on to make her special child a famous celebrity in his own right.
Rohit was born as a premature baby, but with no signs of any abnormality. He was a healthy, happy child, going to school like any other kid. Till one day, Rohit had an accident in school, which resulted in a head injury. Soon after, he injured his head again, falling down the stairs. After he recovered, Rohit began to show the signs of a hyperactive child.
The school advised Rohit be taken to a counsellor. But the heavy dosage of medicines put Rohit in a state of comatose. Rohit was confined to the house, with Mrunal, his mother by his side like a rock of Gibraltar!
Mrunal was depressed, but she began a round of doctors to help Rohit. Tests, Neurosurgeons, MRIs, became their life. Rohit was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Mrunal gave up her job and social life to dedicate her life to Rohit’s needs. Motherhood became her career. They faced insensitivity and ridicule from society and alienation from family members. But Mrunal did not let this get her down. She trained herself to be a better parent to support the physical, intellectual, and emotional needs of her “special” child.
Mrunal encouraged Rohit to take up dance and swimming, hoping that it would help him to energize and synergize his body and brain, which could maybe one day, lead him to manage his daily routine on his own. Rohit responded passionately to music, dance and swimming. His cousin Rahul Murumkar taught him music and dance and his coach Santosh taught him swimming. With their guidance, Rohit gained confidence and control over his body and mind.
Later, Rohit began to train for swimming under coach Abhijit Tambe at the Bal Kalyan Sanstha. Under Tambe’s tutelage, Rohit made the Limca Book of Records for 13 hours of marathon swimming.
Rohit, also represented Shree Dance Academy at DID Little Masters competition on national television where he was honoured by film personality, Mithun Chakraborty.
With Rahul Murumkar’s support, Rohit participated in the Zumba International Convention, OCC, USA and was awarded Zumba Passion Award 2015.
Mrunal as a mother helped to turn Rohit’s life around from being a comatose child to making a name for himself. Amongst his many laurels, Rohit has been certified for the physical tests of Life Guard/Life Saver. He has performed with famous choreographer Ms. Saroj Khan at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune. He has won the Silver Medal for one-meter Cycling in the Special Olympics Bharat Nation, the First Special Child Certified as Aqua Zumba Trainer and a Gold Medal as Best swimmer at the Malvan Open Sea Swimming Competition 2018. Rohit conducted a 3-day Zumba workshop for Autistic Children.
With consistent performance in swimming, Rohit is representing India at the Special Olympic 2019 in Abu Dhabi currently.
Rohit’s achievements are a testament to the indomitable spirit of his mother, Mrunal.
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