“The tough times have made me unbeatable. I have learned to accept the challenges and fight like a warrior. Believe me, the sweet taste of victory after a long battle is unparalleled and incomparable.” This is what Victor Sangale said in a blog post weeks before he went missing in the flash floods that hit Pune on September 26.
His family has now released a documentary that Sangale, 26, an amputee, cancer survivor and avid cyclist, had made about his struggles and the battles he fought in his life. “Victor wanted to be an inspiration to many abled and differently-abled people by sharing his own battles in life,” said his brother.
The documentary, Victor Sangale: We-The Creators, was uploaded on YouTube on October 9. Victor made the documentary with the help of Nachiket Parchure, a cinematographer.
In the documentary, Victor related anecdotes about his passion for cycling, the difficulties he faced and his cycling trips. “A couple of amputee friends had done the cycling tour back in 2017 and I was inspired by them and thought, if they can do it, so can I…As an amputee, there is a fear, deep down inside you, that makes you doubt whether you would be able to ride on city roads with ongoing traffic and people with no riding/driving sense, who could hit you and run. But I overcame my fears and ventured out.”
“I basically have to cycle with one leg, the prosthesis only gives me balance and right posture while cycling. So uphill climbs are the toughest part of the ride as one leg muscle has to handle all the hard work. Another major issue is saddle sores, and considering I cannot stand and ride because the prosthesis will slip and I will fall, you can imagine the pain of saddle sores and pressure on a single leg muscle,” he added.
Remembering his best ride, Victor said, “There was a BP (Brevet Populaire, a long-distance, endurance bicycle ride) 100 km monsoon special event being held in Pune for the first time. I was all pumped up a day before the event. The weather forecast was for a rainy day…We stopped at Dehu road junction for the first checkpoint, as soon as I left the checkpoint the rain stopped and the sun shone brightly…giving me a beautiful sight of the rainbow… The Kamshet ghat was a bit of a climb… With my fellow riders and passersby giving me a thumbs up and kind words of appreciation, I felt more pumped up and finished the challenge…With thoughts of quitting to now planning to do the next 200 km BRM, all I can say is that this was more of a mental game than a physical challenge.”
On the day of the flash flood, Victor was going to meet his cousins on NIBM Road when his car got stuck in the floodwater at Bhairoba bridge. He has been missing since that day. The search for him continues, according to his family and friends.