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UP teen battles poverty to chase down Olympic dreams

Even as it was apparent that he possessed a talent beyond ordinary in shooting, the throes of severe financial strain daunted little Mohit.

UP teen battles poverty to chase down Olympic dreams
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By

Srijanee D. Majumdar

Published: 21 Aug 2019 2:41 PM GMT

Even as it was apparent that he possessed a talent beyond ordinary in shooting, the throes of severe financial strain daunted little Mohit. Having nurtured the dream to become an ace shooter in the future, Mohit could see it slipping out of his grip. But success never comes easy, and young Mohit was no stranger. His determination, hard work, and commitment to his passion is what made him long-jump over all metaphoric hurdles that came in the way and reach his goals, turning his dreams into reality.

The sole bread-winner of the family, Mohit’s father, besides being a security guard, is a small-scale dairy farmer. Despite struggling to make ends meet, he refuses to be deterred by the subtle spells of financial woes. Most of his earnings are used to repay the loans that help keep his son’s dreams alive. But quite simply, young Mohit, despite suffering from the ravages of economic instability, looks forward to heralding in a new revolution for athletes who struggle to scrape a living. His father nurtures a similar dream, as he wishes to see his son represent the country at the Olympics.

The path to the Olympics is no easy feat, agrees Mohit. One may recollect the surging number of athletes in India who went about starting with nothing to strutting through the gates of the Olympics. The 19-year-old’s tale echoes the story of several sportspersons who usually fade into the oblivion suffering from abject poverty. His father borrowed money from one of his relatives to buy Mohit a rifle. Mohit started out by hanging a paper target on the wall and learned shooting, recounts his father, as TOI reports. Realising his son’s passion for the sport, he took Mohit to Sabir Khan, who is a national-level shooter turned shooting coach based in New Delhi.

Fraught with poor financial complexities, Mohit’s family had to leave for their village in Shahjanpur. But it was Sabir who convinced Mohit’s father to stay back and give hope to his already teetering career. Mohit’s undying passion toward the sport has won him adulation from millions. The youngster bagged a gold medal at an Interschool level meet, followed by another at a state-level tournament and again in a North zone tournament. His father idolises gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and wants his son to become like him, Mohit has, however, managed to soar past Bindra’s record of 625.7 at the Rio Olympics as he shot an Olympic level score of 626 in the Delhi state shooting championship at Dr. Karni Singh Range in 2016.

Despite living under penurious conditions, the sheer thought of conceding defeat never donned on young Mohit. Athletes like him are a reminder that no barrier is big enough to limit one’s growth and no hurdle can trip one long enough to chase one’s dreams.

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