Can An Auto Rickshaw Driver Make It To The World Kick-Boxing Championship In Russia ?

**Bhubaneswar** In a country where cricket rules, few people must be aware of kick-boxing as a sport or how it is played. So, it is not surprising that when Naba Kishore Paikray, an auto- rickshaw driver made it to the world championship this year, there was no ruffles at all.

On the other hand, the amount required to go to Hamapa, Russia for participating in the championship is large enough to give him sleepless nights.

Son of a driver at the Horticulture Department, Paikray managed to complete his matriculation. Kick-boxing attracted him, and he got enrolled in All Odisha Kick Boxing Centre. Hard work and determination brought awards in his kitty, in the state level as well as the national level.

He participated in matches held in Tamil Nadu, Kolkata and various other places in India and clinched gold at the national level.

Finally, his dream came true when he got selected for the World Diamond Kick Boxing Championship in Full Category (-67) category to be held in Russia in the third week of September. But, he needs Rs 1,65,000 to deposit before 20th of August to participate in the game.

” I don’t know how will I manage to arrange the funds. I am married and have a 2-year-old daughter. With much difficulty, I am able to manage my household expenses. Living in a rented house in an expensive city like Bhubaneswar and driving an auto rickshaw on a rental basis, it seems a mammoth task for me.” laments Paikray.

Secretary of Amateur Kick Boxing, Odisha, Shekhar Suman Das is also another aspirant selected from Khurda district in Point fight (-94) category. Hailing from a lower middle class family, he along with Paikray had approached the Sports Minister in this regard.

“We met the Sports Minister, Sudam Marandi, and asked for government aid. But he refused on the grounds that it is not under Disciplined Games or accredited by the government. So, he won’t be able to help. But if we win medals in the world championship, he would try to eke out some amount from the relief fund of the government,” said Shekhar Das.

To win medals, these aspiring players have to participate, and to participate they need funds.

“Moreover, we need accessories like track suit, shoes, gloves, head gear etc to practice and participate in the event which is seeming faraway now. Though I am practising for a couple of hours in the morning, and a couple of hours in the evening in a hope to win the international event, but am unable to sleep at night in the fear that I may not even be able to make it to the event,” said Paikray.

Both the aspirants have knocked the doors of several companies like Jindal, MCL, and Vedanta, but to no avail.

Sports persons in India do not need wishes to win an international competition, but need aid for their basic requirements to be able to represent their country in the events.