New Delhi: Former fighter pilot MP Anil Kumar, who was paralysed neck-down after a motorcycle accident in 1988, passed away at the age of 50 in Pune after battling cancer.
The MiG 21 fighter pilot had fought his disability for 26 years and became an inspirational figure after he started writing, clutching a pen in his mouth.
He passed away on Monday in Kirkee cantonment in Pune where he was living in the Armed Forces` Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre run by the Armed Forces, IAF officials said.
He was diagnosed with cancer recently.
Kumar had written an article titled `From Airborne to Chairborne` about his post-accident struggle. The news piece was included in Maharashtra government school textbooks and later found its way in Kerala school books as well.
An alumnus of Sainik School, Thiruvananthpuram, he was a motivational figure and a favourite of his batchmates who had gathered in Pune to celebrate his birthday on May 5.
He is also credited for bringing to notice of IAF the case of a disabled NDA cadet Herojit Singh who was being boarded out due to his injuries suffered in an air crash.
The IAF, in a special case, allowed the officer to serve in the force on wheel-chair due to the initiatives taken by Kumar.