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Today while going through a news website, I found an interesting link “While Father Polished Shoes, Daughter Ran Barefoot to Win a Gold Medal”. After reading the complete testimony, my heart was filled with appreciation and blessings for the girl “Sayali”. Yes, this news is about a rising athlete “Sayali Mhaishune” from Mumbai. Yesterday,while a barefooted Sayali was breaking new ground against all odds at the District Sports Office inter-school athletic championships, her father Mangesh was mending shoes in his shop. She belongs to a poor family where father is working as cobbler for managing the living of whole family. Sayali’s elder sister is doing diploma in IT and mother is not doing good health wise.
When asked Sayali’s father about not witnessing the race, he gave a brutally true reply. He said "I knew she was representing her school at the athletics meet. I wanted to go, but couldn't because feeding my family is more important than going to watch her run." What a pity that he can’t afford to keep his shop shut even for a day. If you have not noticed earlier, Sayali ran barefood on synthetic track which was rough and hot because race was organized around noon. Still she made it and made it very well. Normally athletes use spikes for running which cost anywhere between Rs. 500-2,000. Sayali said as her father couldn’t afford spikes, she did all her practice sessions Barefoot. Girl answered, when asked was she expecting this medal, “I didn't expect to win a medal, my aim was simply to finish the race. Spikes would have definitely helped me run faster here." Around the halfway mark, she was dehydrated, but somehow kept running.
Father Mangesh, however, promises not to let the shortage of funds sour this sweet moment of success.He said, he can't afford any expensive gift for his daughter but he would definitely bring home her favorite chocolates. Mangesh,having no other source of income, will continue polishing the shoes and giving life to old footwear. His daughter too meanwhile, continues to polish her athletic skills in the hope of sparkling for her country one day.
Kudos to Sayali who is fighting with poverty and at the same time chasing her dreams of becoming a gleaming sport person. I hope her efforts would get recognized very soon. And I wish she'll not quit her talent because of lack of support and money.
All the very best to her.