Pramod Bhagat is an Indian para-badminton player who competes in the SL3 and SL4 categories. Pramod is a 5-times BWF World Champion and is ranked at the world’s no. 1 position in para-badminton men’s singles SL3 category. In 2021, he represented India at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games where he clinched a gold medal for India.
Pramod Bhagat was born on Saturday, 4 June 1988 (age 33 years; as of 2021) in the Hajipur village of Vaishali district in Bihar, India. His zodiac sign is Gemini. For his primary and secondary education, Pramod Bhagat attended a local school in Noida. After completing his formal education, Pramod got himself enrolled at the Industrial Training Institute Bhubaneswar to earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Pramod Bhagat was very fond of playing sports since childhood, he played different sports, but badminton was his top favourite. He never lost a badminton match playing against the big boys of his village. At the age of 5, Pramod contracted polio, resulting in a disability in his left leg.
Height (approx.): 5’ 5”
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Pramod Bhagat was born into a financially backward family of Bihar, India. Pramod’s father, Kailash Bhagat, and his mother, Kusum Devi, both are farmers.
At/PO-Dist-Bargarh, Pin-768927, Odisha, India
Pramod Bhagat was fond of playing various sports in his childhood. At the age of 4, he started playing badminton with the big boys of his village and developed an interest in badminton. With time, Pramod acquired the skill and never lost any match against anyone. Pramod Bhagat was diagnosed with polio when he was 5 years old, which affected his left leg. His financially backward background and disability in leg became huge hurdles in his career but he did not set back and crossed every hurdle in his way. At the age of 13, Pramod began playing badminton professionally against differently-abled players at district and state-level tournaments. By 2005, Pramod started playing at the national level and secured many medals in the sport. In 2006, under the mentorship of coach Shiba Prasad Das, Pramod Bhagat made his international debut at the FESCPIC Games, presently known as Asian Para Games. He did not have a great start to his international career and was out of the game after playing his first match; however, in the same year, he won his first international medal.
Next in 2007, Pramod participated in the IBAD World Badminton Championship held in Bangkok, Thailand and won two bronze medals, one each in singles and doubles events. Pramod Bhagat won his first international gold in a singles event at the 2009 IBAD World Badminton Championship held in Seoul, South Korea. In 2013, Pramod Bhagat along with his doubles partner Manoj Sarkar participated at the 2013 World Championships in Men’s doubles category held in Dortmund, Germany and won a gold medal beating the Japanese duo Taku Hiroi and Toshiaki Suenaga with a score of 21–15, 10–21, 21–18. Pramod, in 2014, won a bronze medal at the Asian Para Games, held in Incheon, South Korea; after which the state government of Odisha announced to reward him with a cash prize of Rs 12 lakhs. In 2015, Pramod Bhagat represented India at the BWF World Championships along with his doubles partner Tarun Dhillon; Pramod won a gold medal defeating Vietnam’s Pham Duc Trung in Men’s singles category and a silver medal along with Tarun Dhillon in the men’s double category with 21–7, 14–21, 6–21 scores. Later, he participated in various international tournaments including Thailand Para-Badminton International 2017, BWF World Championships 2017, Dubai Para-Badminton International 2018, Australian Para-Badminton International 2018 and won several golds, silver, and bronze medals.
One of the major highlights of Pramod Bhagat career is the 2018 Asian Para Games. He bagged a gold medal in Men’s Singles SL3 and a silver medal in Men’s Double’s SL3-SL4 category in the Asian tournament. Pramod received huge appreciation for his win from all across the country. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Pramod for his historic win by posting a picture with him on his Instagram account.
2019 proved to be a successful year for Pramod Bhagat. He won a gold medal in the singles category, a silver medal in the doubles category and a gold medal in the mixed doubles category at the IWAS World Games 2019. Pramod also won a total of two gold medals in the SL3 men’s singles and doubles categories each at the 2019 BWF Para-Badminton World Championships held in Basel, Switzerland. Pramod Bhagat emerged as a double crown winner i.e. gold medalist in both singles and doubles category at the China Para-Badminton International 2019, BWF World Championships 2019, Irish Para-Badminton International 2019, and Uganda Para-Badminton International 2019.
After his extraordinary performances in the year 2019, Pramod Bhagat was showered with a number of awards and cash rewards. Pramod was honoured with the OSJA Sportsperson of the year 2019 award along with a cash prize of Rs 25,000. The state government of Odhissa presented him with cash money of Rs. 30. 10 lakhs for achieving success internationally and making the country proud. He was also felicitated with Sportslogon Sportsperson of the Year 2019 with a cash prize of Rs 25,000.
In 2021, Pramod Bhagat made his debut in the Paralympic and represented India at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Pramod engraved his name in the history of Paralympic badminton by winning a gold medal in the men’s singles SL3 class category. He also earned the title of being the first-ever Indian to win a gold medal in Badminton at the Paralympic. After the win, Pramod Bhagat was showered with appreciation and congratulatory messages from all across the world.
Pramod Bhagat dedicated his historic win to his parents. During an interview with a media house, Pramod said,
This is very special to me, it’s my dream come true. Bethell really pushed me but I just kept my calm and played to my strengths. I would like to dedicate this to my parents and to everyone who has supported me throughout. I’m glad I could make India proud.”
- 2013: World Championships (Men’s doubles) held in Germany
- 2015: World Championships (Men’s singles) held in England
- 2018: Asian Para Games (Men’s singles) held in Indonesia
- 2019: World Championships (Men’s singles) held in Switzerland
- 2019: World Championships (Men’s doubles) held in Switzerland
- 2021: 2020 Paralympic Games (Men’s singles) held in Japan
- 2015: World Championships (Men’s doubles) held in England
- 2014: Asian Para Games (Men’s singles) held in South Korea
- 2017: World Championships (Men’s singles) held in South Korea
- 2018: Asian Para Games (Men’s doubles) held in Indonesia
Awards & Honours
On 29 August 2019, Pramod Bhagat received the Arjuna Award by the resident of India Ram Nath Kovind for his excellent performance in the Para-Badminton sports. Arjuna Award, the sports honour of the Republic of India, is awarded to the sports personalities of India for delivering extraordinary performances in the field of sports. Arjuna Awardees are honoured with a bronze statuette of Arjuna, a certificate, a ceremonial dress, and a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh.
Biju Patnaik Sports Award Odisha
In 2019, Pramod Bhagat was honoured with the Biju Patnaik Sports Award Odisha for excellence in sports along with a cash prize of Rs 2 lakhs.
Khel Ratna Award
In 2021, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced his name for the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.
He received the Padma Shri award under the sports category in 2022.
- Sport: Cricket
- Quote: “It’s more difficult to stay on top than to get there.”
- Pramod Bhagat is a fitness freak. He practices yoga on a regular basis and believes the yoga provides him with the positive he need to cope with day to day life chaos, keeping his mind at ease.
- Pramod is a nature lover. He is often spotted in various plantation drives, creating awareness among the people to grow more trees for building a better environment.
- On 2 April 2021, Pramod Bhagat donated a sum of Rs. 2 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund with the aim to help the pandemic affected people.
- After Pramod Bhagat won a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, the legendary cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar invited Pramod to meet him at his Mumbai residence. Pramod took to Instagram to share his picture with Sachin Tendulkar and expressed his happiness by captioning the picture as,
I can’t believe how happy I am today. As a kid, I took inspiration from Sir Sachin Tendulkar for always being positive and motivated. I always imagined that I would get a chance one day to meet you. I also wished that day should come post the biggest achievement of my life and God aligned all the stars for me.”
- On 9 September 2021, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced a total of Rs. 6 crore cash reward to Pramod Bhagat, the first Indian to win a gold medal in badminton SL3 (Standing/lower limb impairment/minor) class at the Paralympics. The government also announced to provide Pramod with a Group-A state government job.
- While talking about his inspiration for sports, Pramod Bhaga mentioned Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu as his source of inspiration. He said,
Saina has been my inspiration for the longest time. What did for badminton in 2012 (winning bronze at the London Olympics) is what I aim to do for para-badminton. She has been a huge force in badminton and has inspired millions to take up the sport.”
He further added,
Sindhu has been the torch-bearer of Indian badminton for a long time now. Her displays at the 2016 and the 2020 Olympics have raised the benchmark and I would like to achieve a similar feat in the Paralympics. Like her, I also want to inspire Indians to take up the sport. I really like the attitude Sindhu plays with and I try to incorporate things which I see in her game, which can help me improve my game.”