Major Surendra Poonia graduated from the Armed Forces Medical College, and was the first from his village to become an army officer and a doctor. He broke all the long distance races record held at AFMC, Pune, and after obtaining his MBBS degree was commissioned in the Indian Army in Aug 2001. He later served with the Para Special Forces for 5 years in Jammu and Kashmir and in the UN Peace Keeping Mission at DRC (Congo) for 1-year managing international peace missions.
In 2008, he was selected for the President’s Bodyguard, and served under two Presidents of India -Smt Pratibha Devi Singh Patil and Shri Pranab Mukherjee. In 2010, Major Poonia became the first Indian sportsman to win three medals in the World Medical Games at Croatia. Subsequently, in 2011 at Las-Palmas, Spain, he won 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal. In 2012 he won 2 gold medals and 5 silver medals in Antalya, Turkey, becoming the first athlete to win consecutive gold medals in the Power Lifting event for 3 years in a row.
From July 2008 to Sept 2012, Dr Surendra Poonia was one of the core team member involved in implementing ‘Roshni’ – a green innovative concept. Today, he is a sportsperson, a fitness expert, a social worker, a youth icon and a speaker combining his experience as a soldier, a paratrooper and a medical doctor. On Jan 26, 2012, he was felicitated by ‘Vishisht Seva Medal’ (VSM) by The Honourable President of Republic of India for his ‘Distinguished Service of an Exceptional Order’ in field of Sports. Awarded ‘Most Entertaining Sportsman of the year’-Male by Reliance Big FM in 2013. Awarded 4 times by ‘Chief of Army Staff Commendation’ medal by The Chief of Indian Army for meritorious service.