In 2004 he could barely move because of his health condition. He was 34 and weighed just 30 kg and doctors prevented him from doing heavy workout because he was carrying a deadly virus in his body. In 2006 he won a medal in a bodybuilding competition in the 60 kg category. He also went on to win medals in international bodybuilding championships. The story of former Mr. South Asia and a Mr. World bronze medalist K. Pradip Kumar of Manipur, India is a source of motivation for every human being.
Pradip Kumar is not only a successful bodybuilder but also a successful trainer and he is active in the field of HIV awareness as well. Being an international level bodybuilder is no ordinary achievements. But there is something extraordinary about his achievements that makes him much more special and a great motivation for everyone. Pradip Kumar has shown that when you decide to achieve your fitness goals, nothing can stop you. Pradip had reached a point when he was so weak that he could not lift a flower vase. But he raised himself from there to become Mr. Asia and also a bronze medalist in Mr. World contest. Pradip Kumar’s fitness journey is one of the most inspiring life stories of all times. It is the story of a man refused to give up even when life was cruelest. This is a story that motivates everyone to get rid of the petty excuses that stop them from pursuing a fitter body and lifestyle.
Pradip Kumar who hails from Manipur state in India is an international level bodybuilder and fitness trainer. The former Mr. South Asia and Mr. World bronze medalist does not compete anymore but he has been training a lot of people for several years.
Pradip Kumar’s entry into bodybuilding was preceded by several tragedies. He fell prey to drugs at a very young age. He started taking drugs when he was in 6th or seventh standard. Those were the early days of drug culture in Manipur and there was not much awareness about the dangers of drugs and especially intravenous needles used in taking drugs.
In the late nineties he learnt from a newspaper article about the dangers of multiple use of intravenous syringes among drug users and about HIV. He got scared and decided to give up drugs altogether. Some of his friends were already dead by that time because of drugs. But the fear of HIV was new. After some effort he finally gave up drugs but had to deal with withdrawal symptoms and soon he was caught up in alcoholism.
Though Pradip Kumar gave up drugs to avoid the risk of getting infected with HIV through intravenous syringes, it was too late. In 1999 he fell severely ill and was diagnosed with AIDS. None of his friends or relatives came to meet him. His health deteriorated very much and he was extremely weak. From 2000 to 2004 he remained confined to his home. During this time he underwent treatment and as he gained a little bit of strength he started to look after a flower plant that his sister gave him. This plant gave him the courage and inspiration to live. Little by little he gained some strength to go about his daily life and he started to concentrate in looking after flowers and participating in flower shows.
In 2004 he went to a local gym to take up some very light exercises. His body weight was just 30 kg at that time. They warned him not to take up intense activities because his body was too weak to bear the intensity of such workouts. When he went to the gym people were playing a game of chess and the loser was supposed to lift some weights. Pradip also played and lost. He had to lift some weights and he liked it. He started lifting weights and doing other exercises regularly and gradually started increasing the intensity despite doctor’s advice not to do intense workout. Within two years his body weight improved and increased to 60 kg. As he gained muscles and confidence he started to participate in competitions. His first state level competition was in 2006. It was Mr. Manipur and he got a silver medal in the 60 kg category. In 2007 he won the gold medal in Mr. Manipur and came out about his HIV positive status.
He has participated in several state level and national level competitions and In 2012 he went for his first international level competition. That year he won bronze in WBPF Mr. World competition held at Bangkok. He also won Mr. South Asia title same year at WBPF Mr. South Asia competition at Ludhiana in India.
However, he has not participated in any competition after 2012 because he has to be careful because the second phase of Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) to control HIV is going on. But he continues regular exercise and training others. Presently he is a Physical Training Instructor under the Manipur Sports Department.
Several documentary films have been made on him and books have also been written. Pradip Kumar has inspired millions of people around the world. Unfortunately this world class bodybuilder still faces stigma and neglect at various levels.