Growing up in his native village in Rajasthan, Devendra was the victim of an unfortunate accident when he was eight years old. While climbing a tree he accidentally touched a live electric cable and was electrocuted. Despite being given immediate medical attention, the incident resulted in amputation of the left arm, on the suggestions of the doctors.
Devendra was spotted by Dronacharya Awardee coach RD Singh in 1997 during a school sports day event. The coach encouraged him to take up sport full time and helped guide Devendra on his early sporting endeavours. He soon moved to college in 2000, and was introduced to the sport of javelin throw by coach Dr. Satyapal Singh.
In 2002, Devendra won the gold medal at the FESPIC Games in Korea. He qualified for his first Paralympic Games in 2004 in Athens, where he went on to set a new world record with 62.15m, eclipsing the old mark of 59.77m; the throw won him the gold medal at the Paralympics. An Arjuna Award followed his performance in Athens and in 2012 he was also conferred the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award.
Having created history by becoming the first Indian to win a Paralympic gold in 2004, Devendra once again rewrote the history books by winning another gold medal and breaking his own previous record, 12 years later, at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. What makes his achievement even better is the fact that his sporting discipline wasn’t a part of the 2008 and 2012 editions of the Paralympics, but he continued his training despite that.
Having experienced success at the highest level, Devendra plans to give back to the sport by mentoring future Paralympians for India while continuing to train for Tokyo 2020. In January 2018, he was awarded the Khel Ratna, the highest sporting honour of the Country – the first ever Indian para athlete to receive the honour.
- Silver medal in Men's Javelin Throw F46 at the Trial for IPC Athletics Grand Prix, 2017
- Gold medal (with World Record) at the Paralympics in Rio (Brazil), 2016
- Gold medal (with World Record), 2004 Paralympics in Athens (Greece)