Inspiration has no Boundaries – Story of Shalini Saraswathi, the Indian Blade Runner!


“When one window closes, another opens.”

Whenever we hear the term blade runner, the running picture of Oscar Pistorius first comes to our mind, no? But it is the high time to change the picture for once and for all because India has got their own blade runner! The urban legend, 37 years old blade runner, Shalini Saraswathi’s journey, from being a patient of multiple organ failures to the participant of TCS 10k marathon, is unbelievable, to say the least. We have heard the phrase, ‘Inspiration has no boundaries’; probably Shalini Saraswathi has proved it finally. Let us hear the inspirational story of Shalini Saraswathi in this article.

Early Life of Shalini

She was just like us – a happy married girl with a perfect family and a work life. Although her parents are from the Kollam district of Kerala, Shalini has been born and brought up in the city of Bangalore. She had her schooling at St. Mary’s Girls’ High School, Bangalore. After that, she completed her graduation from Mount Carmel College of Bangalore. Shalini is a dancer and a BPO professional. She was happily married to her husband, Prashanth Chowdappa and pregnant with her baby until the tragedy happened.

When Life Hits You Hard

It was the vacation time of 2013 and Shalini was returning from Cambodia with her husband after completing their gala Anniversary trip. She was pregnant at the same time. Suddenly, out of nowhere, she fell ill. She was little sick while she was in Cambodia. However, the mild fever escalated as soon as she got home. At the first stage of diagnosis, doctors detected this illness as a mere dengue. But after many advanced stages of diagnosis, Shalini had reportedly developed an acute case of Rickettsial – a very rare kind of bacterial infection. Instantly, Shalini’s normal life got completely upside down by this huge storm, and she lost her baby in this tragic event.

When Life Breaks You Down, A Fighter Reborn

She remained at the ICU of the Bangalore hospital. Her condition became worse and worse. Soon, gangrene started attacking her different organs, and she became a patient of multiple organ failures. The whole tragedy first hit her left arm. Soon after that, her right arm dropped off, and the gangrene did not leave her legs too. She lost her both legs.

The Survivor of all Odds

Although she lost her both arms and legs, Shalini never lost her courage. Her organs may fail her, but her courage and bravery never failed her ever. It was the year of 2014 when she decided to get back on her feet with the help of prosthetic legs. After a few months of practising, Shalini walked again in December 2014!

A Fighter, A Runner – Inspiration has no Boundaries!

After all these struggles, Shalini knew that the society would not accept her as what she is. Everyone started showing her sympathy which she despised with all her heart. She needed to prove her; she needed to prove that she is not all lost. Without wasting any time, she started her training under Coach BP Aiyappa soon. Walking and working out 90 minutes a day, the training session was never smooth. And Shalini was tougher indeed. After two years of struggles, Shalini finally had the capability to run half marathon at TCS 10k race in Bangalore.

It honestly does not matter what you have because you always have it all inside. It matters what you make with what you have. In spite of such obstacles, Shalini Saraswathi, a 37 years old woman has made it to the half marathon with her prosthetic limbs and proved that inspiration has no boundaries. All you need a brave heart, and you can always go ahead, does not matter what comes in your way. Life is all about ‘Moving on’.


Written By: Subharthi Bhattacharya


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