Noida District Magistrate (DM) Suhas Lalinakare Yathiraj, who is currently World no. 2 in men’s singles and silver medallist in SL-4 category in Tokyo Paralympics 2021, shared his journey of how he became an IAS as well as a professional badminton player representing his country.
Suhas LY, who describes his life journey, as ‘strings of fortunate accidents’ didn’t always want to be an IAS officer from the start. His family wanted him to be a doctor because of his leg disability but later his family realised that he’ll be happier to do what he wants to do, as he got admission in the National Institute of Technology Karnataka and became an engineer.
In 2005, Suhas lost his father but also became IAS in the first attempt in the same year.
How professional badminton came into Suhas LY’s life
Badminton was always his passion but Noida DM didn’t know at what level he could achieve wonders until 2016 when he was invited as Chief Guest in Azamghar for a State Badminton Championship. “I asked for a normal fun game with any random player and got the match and defeated the opponent with ease and then another one. After that the coach at the venue asked me whether I would like to try the sport professionally, I replied ‘no’ at that time due to his busy work-life but anyway coach still handed me his number for future,” Suhas LY recounted at a Religare group felitation event for Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics medallist in New Delhi.
“After 6 months, I was home late after work when he gave it a thought while checking out the Badminton Federation Website and called the coach right away. After 4 months, I went to Asian Championship in Beijing where he became the first Indian bureaucrat to win a professional International Badminton Championship in 2016,” he added.
After that, on his way to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Suhas LY won the qualification Turkey tournament although he lost in the quarterfinals in 4 tournaments in a row.
He got transferred to Noida after getting confirmation of his participation for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. The Indian shuttler defeated Fredy Setiawan of Indonesia 21-9, 21-15 to seal the match in 31 minutes in the Tokyo Paralympics semi-finals to assure himself of at least a silver.
“When I used to ask God in my childhood why did he made me like this (disability), when I won the medal God gave me his answer,” Suhas LY said about his feeling after winning the silver
On why he chose to pursue badminton even after becoming Noida DM, Suhas LY said, “From my childhood sports was always in my life and badminton is the love of my life.”
Asked about his advice to the upcoming athletes, Suhas LY said, “Sports is high risk and high return thing in our country, so I would say you should try at a good age if you feel you can do something. If you do something with full passion and love you can achieve it whether it’s sports or job.”