'It’s Very Difficult To Make Ends Meet By Selling 'Bara' In The Streets'
Sangita Agrawal/ Tapan Das
7 months ago
Bhubaneswar: Rashmi Ranjan Sahoo, Mr. Odisha (gold medallist) for four consecutive years is selling 'Bara' (a local street food) in IRC village, Bhubaneswar to eke out a living.
The greatest worry for him is to arrange funds for his body building expenses, so that he can be properly prepared to represent India in the Asia World Body Building Championship to be held in September in Bhutan. His only dream is to clinch the title there and represent India in the World Championships to be held in Taiwan the following month.
Belonging to a lower middle class family of Tentola(Salepur) in Cuttack district, he came to the city to pursue his studies and help his father, who was a street vendor.
After completion of post graduation in Sanskrit from the prestigious Utkal University,he joined gym in November 2010 for body fitness as he had a dream to join the defence sector.
But destiny had different plans for him. He was spotted by his guru, Jitendra Jena at the gym who trained him for body building. Within a few months, the results poured in and in 2011, he started to win medals and accolades all across the State. He got a bronze Asian Eastern India Championship in 2012 and after that never looked back.
He clinched the title of Mr Odisha for four consecutive years from 2013-2016. Moreover, he won the Inter-State Federation Cup, and got selected to represent India (80 kg category) in Asia World Body Building Championship to be held in Bhutan in September.
"After so much awards and recognition, I still do not have a job. My father, mother and grandmother are keeping ill and have high hopes from me. Its very difficult to make ends meet by selling 'bara' in the streets. Moreover, there is constant fear of our shop in the streets being evicted by the police," said Rashmi Sahoo.
"We are unable to fulfill the requirements needed by him for pursuing body building. The government should help him," said his father.
"Rashmi is a dedicated sportsman. He never gives up easily. I have seen him grow as a bodybuilder in the last five years. If the state government provides help for Rasmi's development, he will bring glory to our country," said Babuli Swain, Odisha's body building coach and Asian judge.
Odisha Body Building Association general secretary Prasanna Mahasuar proudly announced his name for the upcoming championship and has high hopes on him.
"I just need little help from the State government. If sprinters like Duttee Chand and Srabani Nanda are well rewarded, why am I meted out a step motherly attitude.? Why is this sport still unrecognised? I appeal to the government and the general public to come out and help me, because its very difficult to get nutrition supplements and other things needed for my workout. I want to win a medal for India and make Odisha proud," cried out Rashmi.
Even after such difficulties, he spends around eight hours a day to workout his body. He spends quite an amount of money on his diet consisting of eggs, chicken, protein powder and other food supplements.
"I have begged my friends to reach up till here. Now, I have no one to lean upon. Please share my mobile phone number (91323-63533) and my bank account number ( SBI Ac no. 32070153537) with everyone so some good soul or our state government would come forward to help me. With such little time for the championship, I am spending sleepless nights worrying about the funds," he added.
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