Mohammad Mehraj : Kept running despite a million hurdles
By Ishita | 25 Aug 2016
An indomitable will to succeed kept this fifteen year old champion running against all odds. Son of a deaf and mute daily wage labourer, Mohammad Mehraj, did not let his poor background stand in the way of his dreams. The seeds of pursuing a career in racing were sown in a young Mehraj’s heart when he saw his school friend win accolades for winning a race. He saw racing as an opportunity to propel him out of his miserable circumstances and make his family proud. Lack of resources to buy necessary equipment for practice only strengthened his spirit to win. He won numerous races and used the prize money to buy sporting gear.
He found an able guide in his first coach Rohit Kumar who gave him the much needed moral support to never give up on his dreams. He came to the city of Delhi to receive proper training under the tutelage of Vishwaroop Purushottam at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. It was difficult living in a big city away from his family but seeing his differently-abled father put in all he had to bring him up, he didn’t let homesickness get the better of him.
He persevered and trained for several hours each day battling Delhi’s harsh climate. Crippling summer heat and freezing winter cold couldn’t stop him from running for multiple miles every day. His countless sacrifices and constant hard work were rewarded when he emerged as the winner of the 1000 meters race of the Dabur Gucose D’s nationwide talent hunt ‘Ab Daudega Hindustan’. His happiness knew no bounds upon receiving the opportunity to train at the prestigious Ashwini Nachappa Foundation. Dabur Glucose D’s campaign ‘Ab Daudega Hindustan’ was not just another race for him; it turned out to be a platform that reaffirmed his faith in his dream. Winning this race made him more determined to achieve his goal of joining the Indian army and representing India at international track and field events.