Rajinder Rahelu is an Arjuna awardee and an Indian powerlifter of international acclaim. He was born in Mehsampur, a small village in Punjab, in a family of modest means. Rajinder was diagnosed with Polio when he was just 2 years old. His family was unable to afford a wheelchair and as a result Rajinder would have to crawl using his hands wherever he had to go; sometimes his father or brother would carry him on their shoulders to school.
Rajinder turned to powerlifting, having been introduced to the sport by a fellow friend. His first Paralympics was in 2004 in Athens, Greece, where he claimed the bronze medal, thereby becoming the first Indian ever to claim a Paralympic medal in his particular sport. Rajinder also claimed a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
Despite his best efforts, Rajinder narrowly missed out on a place at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
- Gold Medal at the National Para Powerlifting Championship Bangalore, 2017
- Silver Medal at the Commonwealth Games Glasgow, 2014
- Bronze medal at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens (Greece)