Mark is a dwarf. He lives in Mumbai & tries to make his livelihood as a fisherman. While the majority of people ridicule dwarfs and look down upon them - he is a giant in the world of Para badminton and has made India proud by winning medals at the national & international level. It's easy to ignore his achievements - but in the context of his economic situation and the odds he has overcome, its nothing short of a world class story. Let's not stunt his dreams - fuel this Para-Badminton athlete’s undying aspiration of winning Gold at the World Championships & making India proud.
Pic: Mark with his medals.
Fund this campaign, support Mark and lets ensure that his being a fisherman and a dwarf is no reason to not dream big!
An International Para Badminton player holding a World ranking of 10th in the Men’s singles category and World ranking of 3rd in the Men’s doubles and Mixed doubles category (as per the latest BWF rankings, November 2016). He has been playing sports at a National level for the past twenty two years & have bagged many medals & has brought laurels to India. His aim is to win Gold in the 2017 World Dwarf Games as a Para Badminton athlete.
Pic: Mark has made India proud at the International level.
Mark wishes to raise INR 8.85L ( his original goal was Rs. 3.85 lakh to fund 2 tournaments) to fund 4 tournaments that are lined up in 2017. The cost includes his coaching, training, diet, air fare, visa,boarding,enrolment fees ,equipment expenses & crowdfunding fees.
Mark Dharmai’s zeal and grit is not just contagious but also inspiring to many a sportsman. Misfortune struck early -- as soon as Mark realised that he was not growing at the pace that others around him were. He would often question his mother about why this was happening to him. She did her best to instil hope in the seemingly hopeless situation.
However, Mark decided to turn the tide. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, he channeled his energy into becoming an ace Para-Badminton Athlete. He first became a National Champion and won several laurels. It was all going well for Mark but soon he hit a dead-end.
Pic: Imagine representing your country and not having any money to go to these events!
Not only was Mark struggling with his stunted growth, but he ran out of funds as well. His dad is a fisherman who strives to meet ends on a daily basis. The situation only got worse. It was close to impossible for Mark to continue his career in sports. He had no choice but to accompany his dad to cast the net to bring home the daily wages. To Mark, it seemed that the end of his sports career was near.
It was then that Mark’s friends and community members came forward to extend a helping hand. Everyone generously contributed to sponsor Mark’s tournaments. It was now up to Mark to give it his all. He braved the odds and achieved the impossible. Mark went on to a World ranking of 10th in the Men's Singles category and World ranking of 3rd in the Men's Doubles and Mixed Doubles category.
Pic: On the podium at the Asian Para-Badminton Championships 2016
He now aspires to participate in 5 tournaments in 2017 and make India proud! He is currently crowdfunding to raise funds for the first two.Let’s fuel Mark’s undying aspiration of winning Gold at World Championships.
You might just end up inspiring many like him and bring in a sea of change with your contribution.
MARK - FACTS:
Born to a struggling fisherman in Chimbai village in Bandra , Mumbai, Mark’s struggles in life came earlier and graver than usual. He was born with a severe disability wherein his legs were twisted on the outside. Doctors would ask the family to rely on prayers and nothing else for his survival.However, his mother didn’t give in. She brought him home and cared for him with all the love in the world. She helped him to walk and talk. It took him longer than usual, but Mark caught on.
Not only did he start walking but also showed a keen interest in sports. He started playing badminton and won several contests. His family and friends were delighted and gave him all the support he needed. He took his passion to the next level and went on to become a National champion.
When help in form of funding came in, he gained international acclaim. However, Mark can keep the fire going only if people like you and me believe in him and sponsor his tournaments to win at the World Championships!
Risks and challenges
Risk of selection
The risk of being selected for the tournaments has been overcome. I have recently won gold at the Nationals Competition, 2017 in Badminton thus making me eligible to represent India at the World Dwarf Games. However, I have to perform consistently to keep improving my performance and win gold on the World stage.
1) How does crowdfunding work?
Crowdfunding in India is a relatively new concept & is growing very quickly.
It is a concept that allows a large number of funders (like you) to fund an Idea or a cause or event by giving small amounts of money online. Fuel A Dream is a crowdfunding site and platform in India that allows for such a pooling of funds.
You can fund innovations & ideas on Fuel A Dream and be the first to get these products or make them come true. You can also do a good turn by funding charities and causes through crowdfunding. When you fund a charity it’s more like a donation & you get small innovative rewards like a shout-out on our FB page or a thank you email from the beneficiaries.
2) Where can one follow Mark’s work and accomplishments?
You can follow Mark on Facebook: