Another day and another story of a sportsman being forced to resort to puny jobs to make his ends meet in India. This time it is a national boxer and NIS qualified coach Abid Khan. Khan has turned an auto driver and unloads sacks at the grain market for survival.
Khan is a former North India boxing champion and Inter-university champion from Chandigarh. He did a coaching diploma in boxing from the National Institute of Sports (NIS) Patiala in 1988-89. He then took to the training profession and coached the army teams for five years. But circumstances forced him to run in circles for a decent job. He had represented Panjab University and was a student of SD College, Chandigarh.
“For a poor, middle-class man, poverty is a curse and being a sports lover is an even bigger curse. It (sports) is nothing but a wastage of time. Despite being a sportsman with many laurels, despite having a diploma I was never able to land a decent job,” Abid told Sports Gaon.
“I had dreamt of producing some top boxers for the country but it never happened,” Abid Khan
Khan shares how he ended up driving an auto rickshaw and working as a laborer at the grain market. He is seen with tears in his eyes as he shares about his hard fought journey. Khan also shares the dream he had of becoming a great boxing coach which never saw the light of day.
“Didn’t get a decent job, had to run in circles and at the end, I picked up this job to make ends meet and feed my family,” he shares. “It’s just that luck wasn’t in my corner or I didn’t have the right connections or my efforts weren’t enough, I don’t know but I couldn’t land a job.“
“Ofcourse it hurts. Had a dream to build a career in boxing having done a diploma. I had dreamt of producing some top boxers for the country but it never happened. It feels bad, it hurts.“
While his journey was nothing short of baptism by fire, people did their bit in making it even tougher with their piercing comments. Khan shares why he didn’t let his journey take up sports as a career.
“I have seen my condition and that of many others in sports. There is no value. I had once approached an official from my college for the job of a peon. He commented how I was begging around for a job despite being a sportsman. That broke my heart and that is when I decided that I will not put my children in this field,” he shares with a heavy heart.
The story of Abid Khan gives us a glimpse of what sportspersons in the country have to go through. It reasserts the fact that sports other than cricket and footbal to some extent is highly neglected in the country. And it is high time the authorities look into supporting them for these sportspersons have the skill and temperament of making the nation proud on the grandest of stages.