Updated: Jun 23, 2021
Shams was born on the 17th of July 1986 in a humble family in Rathaus Village of Madhubani District of Bihar. His parents named him Mohammad Shams Aalam Shaikh. In his childhood, shams was really surrounded by sports individuals and was really excited to do astounding activities such as Swimming, Fishing, Cricket, Tipcat and Wrestling.
His father Mohammad Nasir and mother Shakeela Khatoon have consistently been supportive throughout his journey. His mother has been motivating and inspiring him in all the sporting activities as his grandfather himself was a famous wrestler in Bihar and also represented West Bengal and Nepal. His mother inspired him with stories of his grandfather’s achievements which deeply influenced him.
His mother says when Shams was 2 years old, he used to swim in the lake in front of our house in his home town and people would stand on the edge of the lake to watch him. They would applaud for him and each time Shams heard them clap, it inspired him further. Many people were awestruck watching a small child cross the lake so energetically. Shams swam, just for fun and never imagined that one day this very “ability” would assist him with substantiating in making country proud globally.
At the age of 24, he developed a benign tumour in his lower back which immobilized his lower half due to unsuccessful surgeries which made him paraplegic. After his surgery, he started to train as a swimmer. He won a total of 15 medals at the 12th to 17th Indian National Para Swimming Championship, and was selected for the Indian contingent for the 2018 Asian Para Games to participate at the S5 category for 50M and 100M Butterfly and Freestyle and various other categories. Shams won Bronze at the 2016 Can-Am Para Swimming Championships held in Gatineau, Quebec in the men's 100m Breaststroke SB4 category.
Shams moved to Mumbai for his studies and began his education career from Mominpura Municipal Urdu School at Byculla. Finished SSC from Mohammad Haji Saboo Siddik Technical High School and Junior College at Byculla with a first class.
He proceeded to complete his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Saboo Siddik Polytechnic. During the primary semester of his diploma, he got 5 out of 6 as backlogs but was not stressed as he was more focused around building his sports career.
His physics professor was supportive and advised him not to take stress as “Few students take 5 or 6 to finish the 3 years certificate and he could take that time but eventually complete it.”
This brought some comfort but surprisingly, in second semester, Shams cleared all his backlogs. He was happy and from that point on there was no halting. Shams successfully finished his diploma within 3 years of time period with dedication and hard-work.
Further, Shams also completed B.E from Rizvi College of Engineering and finally he went on to finish his MBA in Human Resource and Operations from Sathaybama University, Chennai.
Shams started learning Shito Ryu style of Karate under the guidance of Sensai Umesh Murkar and completed his black belt in 2008. He has won 50+ medals in karate at District level, State level, National and International level championships.
After Shams’s spinal cord injury in 2010, he had an opportunity to speak to Mr. Raja Ram Ghag, Satyaprakash Tiwari and Amol Boriwale who motivated Shams to take up swimming as a career option and achieve success in life.
Shams started practicing and at first got a chance to participate in Maharashtra State Paralympic Swimming Championship where he won a silver and bronze in free style and back stroke. This allowed him to participate in national championship and now Shams is a national record holder in Paralympic category.
Shams is International medalist in Para Swimming and holds the world record in Longest Open Sea Swimming by Paraplegic Person. In addition to this, Shams also featured in the Limca Book of World Records and represented India in Asian Para Games Jakarta Indonesia 2018.
Shams has given numerous speeches on motivation at various Schools, Colleges and Universities. He continuously works on accessibility issues and aim to make society accessible for all.
TEDx Speaker at:
TEDx Dharavi, Mumbai
Awards & Recognition
JIGAR AWARD from Paraplegic Foundation in 2013.
KHEL SAMMAN 2016, 2017 and 2018 from Art, Cultural & Youth Department Government of Bihar State.
KHEL SAMMAN 2019 for International Category from Art, Cultural & Youth Department Government of Bihar State.
Karn Award International from Bihar Disabled Sports Academy in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
State level award from department of social welfare govt. of Bihar 2017.
Jewel of Nation Award 2017.
Will Star Award from Nina foundation in 2017.
Receiver of the best outgoing student excellence award 2017 Sathaybama University of Chennai.
Mr. Wheelchair India 2017, first runner up.
Youth Icon Award 2018.
The Shoor Veer Award 2018 by Ample Mission.
Bihar Khel Ratana Award 2018.
Best emerging leader in the world disability sports & sports diplomacy 2018 selected by U.S. department of state bureau of educational and cultural affairs for 5-week immersion global sports mentoring program 2018.
Shams has been awarded the role model state award for the empowerment of Persons with Disabilities by the Social Welfare Department, Government of Bihar on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 and the best international athlete of the year 2020 by Bihar Para Sports Association.
Presently he is focusing on preparation to bring glory to his nation by participating in upcoming Para-Olympics and Para-Asian Games.
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