From children of auto rickshaw driver to those born to farmer and vegetable vendor parents, many of the Khelo India School Games (KISG) participants were from humble background but they beat all odds to grab the spotlight and showcase their talent.
Out of the 3507 participants in the sports ministry’s ambitious KISG, which concluded recently, there emerged multiple success stories of the children who have struggled in life but were determined to succeed.
One such talented boy was Bhaktaram Desti who hails from the Ganjam district in Odisha far removed from the luxuries and the hustle and bustle of city life. The 15-year-old’s farmer parents eke out a living off a piece of land they have while upholding their tribal ancestry proudly.
“There are very few opportunities for people coming from that part of the country. But he manages to balance his studies and training because the sports hostel and the government school where he studies are close by,” Desti’s coach Sita Jena said.
Desti won a gold medal in the weightlifting competition. Manipur’s Nongbam Khomba Singh, the son of a wall painter, hails from a remote village about 100km from the state capital, Imphal. The eldest of three siblings, Khomba Singh is the only boxer in his family. The 17-year-old bagged the silver medal in the 60kg class boxing category.
“My father is a painter. He has never been a sportsperson himself but has always supported me. Whatever I am today is because of my father and my coach Shyam Chandra sir,” Khomba said.
Vikas Yadav and Arpit Yadav participated in the javelin throw event. Vikas hails from Kaulapur, Bhadohi district. Arpit, who is the son of a farmer, has six siblings and meeting the daily needs was always a tough job for his parents.