Muhammed Anas Yahiya, an Indian sprinter who participates in the 400 metres distance category made waves after clinching three silver medals in the Asian Games that was held in Jakarta in 2018. Not only did he return with a medal in the men's 400 metre race, he also helped the men's 4x400 metre and the mixed 4x400 metre teams return with a silver.
Anas continued his form in 2019 as well, as he bagged another silver in the mixed 4x400 metres event at the 2019 Doha Asian Championships. Hailing from a village called Nilamel in the Kollam district of Kerala, the athlete has been bestowed with a heart-warming gift from a couple in the village, who decided to gift Anas and his family five cents of land so that they could build a house of their own.
Sasidharan Nair, who runs an Ayurveda shop in the village, along with his wife Vineetha Kumari, a school teacher, were moved by Anas' plight after it came to light that the sports player lived in his ancestral house that had no proper connectivity as the narrow road leading to their residence could only be traversed by foot. This was the very same reason why Anas had rejected the gift of a two-wheeler that had been given to him after his Asian Games feats by the Panchayat. He had, then, been given a cash prize instead.
"We offered them the land two years ago. But that time they were not able to construct due to financial constraints. Now Madhyamam, a media organisation, and AMMA, the film actors organisation, has offered to help them. So that they can finally build a house and we donated the land," Sasidharan told The News Minute.
He further added that Anas had helped their village become famous, which is why he and his wife decided to help him out.
"We were living on our ancestral property. We did not have our own house. We were so happy when we received this offer two years ago," Anas' mother Sheena told TNM.
"We will be grateful to him forever. I haven't met Sasidharan Nair or his wife yet. But they are in our prayers," she added.
In a cricket-crazy nation, small gestures like these can greatly inspire and motivate a sports player to continue putting in the hard work, even when they fail to make the front page of the headlines repeatedly. Words of appreciation for the effort that is being put in only forces a player to never give up, and, thus Sasidharan and Vineetha need to be applauded for their selfless deed.