Fifteen-year-old Nisar Ahmed's story is the kind of stuff inspirational Bollywood films are made of. The teenager from Delhi is well on his way to becoming a national athletic star — on Saturday, he bagged two golds (100 and 200 metres) at the Delhi State Athletics Meet. Already, his 11 seconds finish in the 100-metre run in the under-16 category has made him the fastest runner in the national capital, 0.02 seconds faster than the men's winner this year. Nisar also broke the national under-16 records in both 100 and 200 metres set by MS Arun and Chandan Bauri in 2013, reported The Indian Express.
In 2016, in his very first attempt at a national championship, Ahmed won a gold in the 100-metre race and bronze in 400-metre race in the sub-junior boys' category at the National Schools Athletic Championship, according to a report in Matrubhumi. Even before he participated in the national championship, Nisar was the state record holder for 100, 400 and 600 metres in his category.
Nisar was also one of the three young athletes selected in the under-14 cateory from state trials as part of a nationwide grassroots campaign by National Yuva Co-operative Society (NYCS) to find athletes for 2020 and 2024 Olympics, reported Sportskeeda.com.
Their son might be a rising star, but Nisar Ahmed's parents have unfortunately never had the chance to witness their son's achievements or celebrate his successes. Nisar's father, Mohammad Haq, pedals rickshaws for a living, and mother, Shafikunisha, supplements the family's income by washing utensils in people's houses. Sacrificing a day's income to watch Nisar competing is not a luxury the family can afford, supportive as they might be of his sporting aspirations. "They only show cricket on TV, but there are videos on his mobile of him running. I see him there," The Indian Express quoted Shafikunisha as saying.
Nisar, his older sister and parents live in a 10x10 feet room in a slum next to the railway tracks in Delhi's Azadpur area. They might have limited means, but that hasn't stopped Nisar's parents from doing all that they can to help him develop his talent in the hope of a better life for himself.
Nisar Ahmed's talent for athletics was spotted by his physical education teacher, Surrender Singh, at the government school he studies in. On his insistence, Ahmed participated in an inter-zonal event, easily beating his competitors.
Ahmed is, quite literally, using running as a means to get away from his troubles and poverty. "There are a lot of things that worry me, but when I am training or running, they stay out of my mind," he says. And there's one dream that makes him so dedicated and willing to work hard to become the best athlete he can be: he doesn't want his mother to ever have to work at someone else's home ever in her life.
Read the original story on Indian Express.