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Jayati Godhawat

JWB Blogger

Training On Empty Stomachs, Will Dreams Of These Jaipur Taekwondo Champs Faint?

  • JWB Post
  •  July 21, 2016


Sidhu Vishwakarma is a security guard and lives in a small room with his family within the premises of a temple in Mansarovar. His wife, Saraswati is a maid who works from early morning till late evening. They have three children, a son OP Vishwakarma, and two twin daughters, Laxmi and Pooja.

When I visited them and talked to them, I realized that this is one story that needs to be heard.

It’s a story of the parents who want their kids to get an education and develop skills, so they don’t have to struggle in life like they did. It’s the story of a brother who left his dream of becoming a martial art champion to support his family, and now, wants to fulfill his long lost dreams of  through training his sisters in the sport. And, it’s the story of Laxmi and Pooja who share the same dream and motive of providing their parents a comfortable life they never had.

Laxmi and Pooja are State-level Taekwondo players, with dozens of trophies in their names. Recently, Laxmi won a gold medal at an inter-state championship. They excitedly showed us the medals they have won so far in their two-year career and their father stood there admiring his daughters and feeling proud.

However, I was deeply pained when Pooja told me, “These championships also had registration fees of about 1500 or 2000. We barely managed it, that too, with much difficulty and sacrificing other necessities.”

“Every taekwondo player has his/her own kit except us. We cannot afford it. It’s very expensive,” added Laxmi.

“Then how do you manage in the state-level contests?” I enquired.

Laxmi said, “It’s very difficult to arrange the kits, but we manage it by borrowing it from other players.”

They are in 11th std. and train after coming back from the school.

“Didi, we don’t even have enough money for the school fees. Maa-papa takes loan from people and deposit every month’s fees,” Laxmi informed me.

Shocked, I asked, “What about your diet and food? Taekwondo is a high-intensity sport which requires protein-rich diet and proper meals for functioning.”

Pooja said plainly, “We know. Everyone takes supplements, protein powder, vitamins, etc. But, for us, even a two-time meal is a blessing.”

At this moment, Sidhu, their father, joined us and said, “Madam, you are talking about proper food. Now, we don’t even have enough money to buy milk for everyone. We have switched to tea because a small packet of milk was insufficient for all of us.”

I could see that Sanchit was so disheartened that he put down his camera and just observed them.

He asked the father, “How do you manage their training fees?”

“My son OP was also a national-level martial arts athlete, but, he couldn’t take it further because of our meager financial condition. So, now he’s training our daughters in the Nirman Nagar Academy, where he’s working as a coach.”

“So, your brother inspired you both to take up Taekwondo?” I asked.

“Didi, Laxmi wanted to become a Police officer before,” confessed Pooja.

I looked at Laxmi, and she explained, “I always saw that people at Government posts and jobs are reputed in the society, and that’s why I wanted to be a Police officer. But, after taking up the sport, I have started loving it and I want to pursue this only.”

They want to play at the national level and even want to go to the Olympics. However, the scarcity of funds and the lack of organized training are keeping them from achieving the higher pedestal of success in life.

“The best way we can train right now is by teaching other people which will improve our performance, and we can also generate some income out of it. Sadly, we tried to approach nearby schools and colleges, for coaching the students, but, all in vain,” told Pooja.

Laxmi continued, “Some children have approached us to teach them and  I also want to open a small academy, but we don’t have that much money to rent any place.”

Laxmi also shared with us that they both are teaching the kids at an orphanage in Mansarovar. However, they charge nothing for it and the reason will amaze you.

“We take self-defence classes at ‘Care Home Anath Ashram’ because I feel, in today’s time, every person, especially girls should learn self-defence for their safety.”

They are barely surviving with minimal means, yet, they are compassionate towards other people . Salute!

Still, in cities like Jaipur, girls are discouraged to take up sports as their career and coming from such a humble background Laxmi and Pooja’s family supported them throughout, which I believe is path-breaking.

On supporting their daughters’ dreams, their father’s reply was so touching and profound that I had to hold back my tears.

“My wife and I want to invest in our daughters so that they can develop meaningful skills. And, it is so important that they pursue what they like because only then can they be happy. We might not have enough money to fulfill all their requirements, but, that should not come in between their dreams. We are doing everything in our capacity to make them self-sufficient and independent individuals.”

“My only wish for all my children is that they are economically stable and happy in whatever they are doing.”

Laxmi concluded by saying, “And, we want to be accomplished in our lives so that we can end our parents’ worries and struggles that have been going on for so long.”

P.S. You can also help them by arranging for a place where they can teach martial arts or you can fund their sports kit or food supplies necessary for training, etc. Write to us on and we’ll help you reach them.



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