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SportOther SportsAthlete Jyothi's race against all odds

Athlete Jyothi’s race against all odds

Published: 16th Nov 2020 12:10 am | Updated: 15th Nov 2020 10:42 pm

Hyderabad: On Deepavali Day on Saturday, a proud RS Praveen Kumar, director of Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREI), took to his Twitter handle to put up an inspirational message that would be a perfect script for any Hollywood or Tollywood films.

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“Jyothi was a silver medalist in national youth games in 2013 at the age of 13yrs and married against her will at 14 yrs, now a mother of two kids and now…. The 1st ranker in Telangana Physical Edu CET. Need any more inspiration on this Diwali day? Never Give Up.’’

Praveen, the man who has been instrumental in promoting many untapped talents in all ways of life in a big way in the State, showcased this unsung girl’s phenomenal achievement. Though the tweet itself narrates the wonderful journey of this spirited girl, it needs a little description of this athlete that could inspire many young minds.

Hailing from Balkonda village of Trimulgur Mandal of Nalgonda district and daughter of poor farmer late Shankar, Jyothi was passionate about athletics from a very young age. “I somehow have a fascination for sport and participate in big events. I was fortunate to join TSWREI from fifth class and studied till tenth. Somehow I got a liking for athletics. With encouragement from Praveen sir and other coaches, I began to make good progress in athletics. Somehow running came natural to me,’’ said Jyothi.

Jyothi made her mark in the National Youth Games in 2013 when she was a member of the 4×400 relay squad that won the silver medal. She also clinched a bronze in the junior national athletics. “I was dreaming big particularly after my performances in the national meets. I thought I would one day represent India and run in Asian Games and Olympics,’’ recalled Jyothi.

But all her dreams were shattered and her promising athletics career came to a halt when her parents came and told her she has to marry one Babu, who is unemployed. “I was shocked and didn’t know how to react. But my father said it was a family obligation. I had no other alternative but to marry at a young age.’’

In between, she was blessed with two children — daughter Yesheshwani (4 years) and Bhumesh Kumar (2 years)  — and also passed Intermediate. Though she left athletics career after marriage, she was still keen to return to her favourite sport. “I was determined to pursue my career in athletics. I never lost hope and the best way to re-enter sport was through a coach’s role.’’

She appeared in Telangana State Physical Education Common Entrance Test, conducted by Mahatma Gandhi University. Fighting all odds and adversities, Jyothi came out in flying colours when she emerged as a topper. “I kept my daughter at in-law’s place and came to Hyderabad along with my mother and son.’’

She appeared in the examination on November 7 and the results were out on Nov 13 (Friday). “It was one of the best news. I have a dream to pursue. I want to run again and at the same time do coaching. I could not succeed as an athlete at international level and now as a coach I would like to see one of my wards run for the country and run in the Olympics,’’ said the 22-year-old, who is now a physical education teacher in Wanaparthy.


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