Sarika Kale, Kho Kho player, wins Arjuna Award this year. She recently shared her inspiring story that shows courage and determination can overcome any hurdle.
Tough times are inevitable in life. But how we manage ourselves during these times not only defines our spirit but our future too.
Though many of us tend to blame our circumstances, few gather the courage to fight those circumstances for their dreams. And, Sarika Kale is one such brave soul. Irrespective of her tough financial background, this daughter of a tailor has shown the world that nothing is impossible.
As perThe Indian Express, 27-year old Sarika Kale, who’s a former Indian women’s kho-kho team captain, is all set to be awarded the Arjuna Award. The virtual ceremony will be held on National Sports Day on August 29, 2020. But her journey till here has been anything but easy.
Recently, opening up about her struggle, she mentioned,
“Though I have been named for the Arjuna Award this year, I still remember the days of playing Kho Kho. I had one-time food for almost a decade.”
She further added:
“My family’s condition pushed me to play the game. This game changed my life and now I am working as a sports officer at Tuljapur in Osmanabad district.”
Sarika mentioned how her uncle, who used to play the sport in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra, took her to the ground first at the age of 13. And, since then, she has continued to play the game. While talking about her journey, she mentioned:
“My mother worked on a sewing machine and did other household chores. My father had physical limitations and hence couldn’t earn much. Our entire family was depended on my grandparents earning,”
“During those years, I consumed food just once a day. I used to get special diet only when I used to be in camp or used to go for some competition.”
Despite facing numerous problems, Kale said her family backed her and never stopped her from going to play in various tournaments. While talking about the environment of sports in rural India, she mentioned:
“The difference between rural and urban environment of sports is, people in rural part understand your success a little late, no matter how big it is,”
In Kale’s inspiring journey, her coach Chandrajit Jadhav also played a key role. Jadav shared how Kale had once decided to quit the game due to financial problems:
“In 2016, Sarika was disturbed due to her family’s financial issues. She had even decided to leave the game. Her grandmother told me that she had locked herself in a room. However, after counseling Sarika was back on ground and this was the turning point. She continued her game again and last year she got a government job, which helped her to settle.”
He further added:
“She was then part of the team that won the Asian Kho Kho Championship in 2016 and also won the player of the tournamemt award in that tournament,”
In the last 10 years, Kale has won multiple medals in the Senior National Championships. AtIFORHER, we salute Sarika Kale’s determination, courage, and hard work. How she fought against her life circumstances to create a dignified life for herself is quite inspiring. We feel her story is an inspiration for thousands of parents and kids, who are struggling with their life challenges to turn dreams into reality.