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35 Medals Awardee Starves For A “Professional Road Bike”

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By Peerzada Waseem

Sopore: Manan Hasan Wani (20) a young cyclist from Sopore is awarded more than 35medals in cycle racing events. Manan is one of the finest cyclists from Kashmir. He won awards at many district and national level competitions, but he is unable to buy a “professional Road bike” for himself because of financial condition.

Manan doing BCA in Baramulla College wants to become a professional cyclist. Manan’s story is not less than an inspiring movie. His determination, desire to be the best, make him a real-life hero.

Manan belongs to a middle-class family. He lives in a small house with his mother, brother, and sister at Tulbal area of Sopore, North Kashmir’s BaramullaDistrict. Manan’s father who was a class fourth employee in horticulture department died of a kidney ailment when Manan was very young. Poverty had already struck the financial support in Manan’s family. His mother took the charge of the family.

Manan’s journey as a cyclist started back in 2010 when he was in 8th standard at Muslim Educational Trust (MET), Sopore. He participated at adistrict level racing competition sponsored by Amateur Cycle Association.

“Our school won the second position in the competition and I was awarded a trophy and a certificate,” Manan told INS. He said “It was a dream come truewhen I got my first prize in cycle racing. Everyone: my parents, teachers, andfriends congratulated me on my success”.

His determination for success increases day by day despite poverty. But he was not ready to back off. Manan managed to buy a nearly new racing cycle for Fifty Thousand Rupees. This was a huge amount for Manan’s family, his mother sold her ornaments and some utensils to buy him the cycle.

Manan said, “After winning the District Level competition, my principal was approached by the Amateur CycleAssociation, to provide me with all the logistics, support and guidance to perform better. They wanted me to be a National and International Cyclist. But the school authorities never took it seriously. I ended up losing a lifetime opportunity. My cycle racing career might have taken a race if I would have got permission to start my training withACA”.

Manan’s family is extremely proud of hisperformance and glory. But at the sametime, their hands are tied because of poverty. Manan’s sister shared her sorrow of not being able to afford a “professional Road Bike” which costs more than a lakh.

Manan’s mother said, “Manan has inspired many others who want to start their career in cycling. Due to the meager income of our family which comes from our father’s pension, the only way to our livelihood, we cannot buy a professional racing bike for Manan”.

Manan’s talent is seen at many racing events all across the country including Karnataka, New Delhi, Jammu, and Punjab. He won a number of awards, certificates and cash awards with an ordinary cycle he brought of his own expenses.

Manan’s journey took a twist when he got selected for a cycle racing competition organized by the Universityof Kashmir. The principal promised to gift him a professional cycle if he secures a Gold medal. He fulfilled his promise and came back with a Gold medal along with a trophy and a cash prize of 2 thousand rupees.

He got back to the principal of the college but he denied saying that he will provide him a professional bike because of the scarcity of the funds but he awarded him with ten thousand rupees for his performance. But ten thousand rupees could not buy a  professional racing bike which costs more than 1.7K.He was highly disappointed and left the college. He then got admission in Government College Baramulla. He won 3 bronze, one silver medal at Universityof Kashmir in 2017.

Manan shared his story with tears rolling from his eyes. He said, “My dream is to become the best cyclist ever, but forthat, I need proper guidance and a Professional Road Bike, but unfortunately no is there to support me”.

 

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