Source : Kajal is received by the Chief Minister Yogi in India
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Synopsis : We are inundated with news about the war in Ukraine or the riots in India on the ban of hijab or the loudspeakers in mosques daily but rarely we hear the extraordinary story of a child who ran 210 kms to meet with the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh who invited her to listen to her complaint. This is her story.
She is only a ten year old child who ran a 45 km marathon last year but was not recognized by the Sport authorities who did not give her permission to run due to her tender age. She ran anyway but her effort did not win her any accolade or even recognition that hurt her so she decided to run to Lucknow to meet with the Chief Minister Yogi to present her case. Yogi is well known for his love for children. He received her warmly and gave her the honor she deserved by giving her gifts and the promise of full financial support of the government to make her dream to become a national athlete come true. She will now be trained in a sport college by professional coaches. The government will pay for all costs.
She ran daily proudly carrying the Indian national flag and never gave up until she reached Lucknow some 5 days and 210 kms later. Her extraordinary effort made some prominent people take notice who came to her to encourage her. India is a vast country where the distances between cities can be great and the roads can be dangerous for a lone runner because of heavy traffic of motor vehicles but It failed to deter her so she carried on.
She told the reporters that she plans to run to Delhi from Prayagraj that is some 700 kms away. We are surprised and stunned to hear it from a child who wants to run such a great distance. We can only imagine what she will turn out to be when she grows up and what she will achieve as a long distance runner and athlete . She says that she will run to bring gold medal to her country from International competitions.
Her name is Kajal who is a star in the making. We wonder how a child like her gets her resolve when kids of her age play with dolls and live a sheltered life. She is lean and thin but has the stamina of a gazelle and easily accepts big challenges where adults shy away. From where she gets her motivation? Who is her idol?
She has a trainer or coach who runs by her side and encourages her because he believes in her. He too proudly carries the National flag.
Source : Google photo of Kajal who ran 210 kms to meet the Chief Minister Yogi in Lucknow
I will quote here the article that was published in a leading National News Paper in India lately.
“In a remarkable display of strength and courage, a 10-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh ran over 210 kilometres from Prayagraj to Lucknow to meet Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday. The grade 4 girl Kajal aspires to become an athlete and, for the same, received good wishes and encouragement from the CM. He motivated the young girl to work hard and realize her dream of becoming an athlete and winning laurels for the nation. During the meeting at the CM’s official residence, Adityanath presented the aspiring athlete with some sports-related items such as a pair of shoes, a tracksuit and a sports kit. He made sure that she will receive government help in becoming a star athlete and will receive all the financial support she will need to do so.
According to NDTV, a UP government spokesperson informed that the CM honored and inspired Kajal to reach greater heights in athletics. The girl thanked the CM for his lovely gesture. 10-year-old Kajal is a grade 4 student hailing from Lalitpur village under the Manda development block of Prayagraj’s trans-Yamuna region. She is the daughter of Neeraj Kumar, a railway employee. After receiving the invite, Kajal began her long journey on foot on April 10 from Civil Lines Prayagraj and completed it on April 15, after meeting the CM.
Beginning of Athletic Journey
Last year, Kajal participated in the annual prize money Indira Marathon in 2021, even though her registration could not formally be done due to her young age. But, neither her education institute nor her district administration appreciated the efforts she had made, reported Hindustan Times. Following her participation in the marathon, she wrote a letter to the CM Yogi Adityanath, expressing her desire to meet him.
Now, Kajal’s drudgeries have started to get recognition, along with the UP CM , Babu Banarasi Das Sports Academy of Lucknow has honored the young girl’s talent. The academy has taken the responsibility of providing the aspiring athlete with sports kits and shoes for her lifetime.”
Source : This article appeared in the National newspaper Hindustan Times
This is the awe inspiring story of a child whose resolve to run 210 kms from Prayagraj to Lucknow to meet with the Chief Minister Yogi will put to shame any adult professional long distance marathon runner anywhere. She ran in the blazing heat that reaches over 40 degree Celsius in North India at this time on her little feet running early in the morning and resuming late in the evening to avoid dehydration and covered the distance in 5 days.
She was accompanied by her coach and other well-wishers. Her act of courage and resolve made her the instant darling of the social media that spread the word like wildfire. The big newspapers started to follow her journey avidly because her story was so extraordinary given her tender age.
India is fast changing where women are being empowered through education and opportunities that come with it. We now see for the first time very young girls taking up wrestling and beating the boys in village and city tournaments winning money and accolades. We see young women taking up judo and karate lessons for self-defense so they do not have to put up with sexual harassment from anyone. We see a growing number of women joining the police force, army, air force and even navy. This is changing the traditional society in India in a fundamental way freeing women from home and hearth life of drudgery.
There is now an awareness that women can achieve anything if given the opportunities to prove their worth. Now this awareness has filtered down to 10 year old children who show courage, determination and resolve to step forward and be counted.
Kajal is the brightest example of female emancipation in India who will inspire millions of children with her achievements.
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