Ekta Bhyan, one of India’s most decorated Paralympians, who took to the sport in 2015, went on to represent India in the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. She currently works as a Haryana civil servant is also a disability rights advocate. Bhyan has qualified for the upcoming 2022 Asian Para Games and 2022 World Para Athletics Championship by creating a new Asian record in Club Throw, at the recently held Indian Open National Para- Athletics Championship.
Meraki is the first company in India to commercially represent para-athletes, and Ekta will join three-time Paralympic medalist, Devendra Jhajharia, para-badminton sensation Palak Kohli and swimmer turned coach, Sharath Gayakwad. Speaking at the announcement, she said “my best years as an athlete are ahead of me and I am excited to partner with Meraki, who I am confident will help amplify my voice for inclusion & diversity”.
19-year old javelin sensation Ajai Singh Rana and the reigning U21 World Champion archer, Komalika Bari, will be joining the likes of Anju Bobby George, Rohan Bopanna, swimmer Srihari Nataraj and India’s best sport climber Shivani Charak, on Meraki’s roster.
Ajai Singh Rana, who narrowly missed out on a medal at the recently held World Athletics U20 Championship in Kenya, is currently training with his coach Bikram Jit Singh at DAV College Ground, Jalandhar said “I am training to break the 80m mark this year, and I am absolutely confident of finishing on the podium at all my future events. I think it will be a privilege to follow the footsteps of my hero Neeraj bhai and make my country proud. I am looking forward to Meraki’s expertise in helping me realise my on-field performance, off-field”.
Komalika, who clinched the U21 World Championship Title in August this year, just two years after winning the U18 crown in Madrid, is currently training with her coach Purnima Mahato at the Tata Archery Academy in Jamshedpur, and will be seen in action at the Junior National Ranking Archery Tournament (NRAT), said “the next few years are critical in my journey as a professional athlete, and support from agency like Meraki, I believe will be a catalyst to my endeavours and I am looking forward to our association”.
Speaking at the announcement, Ms. Sharba Tasneem, Head – Talent & Key Accounts, Meraki Sport & Entertainment said “We are excited to have these athletes on our roster. While on one-hand we have an established athlete and an absolute champion for inclusivity in Ekta, on the other, we have Ajai & Komalika, who are at the dawn of their careers. With Ekta, our focus will be to ensure that her ideas around leveraging sport as a tool for social empowerment, reach a wider audience, while with Ajai & Komalika, we will have the privilege of contributing to their professional journeys, assisting them in their quest for excellence. We are looking forward to working towards crafting their brands, and structure partnerships with organizations who wish to empower & embolden sport beyond cricket in India.”