**Bhubaneswar:** One might wonder what is a Virat Kohli fan doing in Bhubaneswar during the Hockey World Cup season. Is it passion or something else? 33-year-old Nikash Kanhar, a bus conductor hailing from tribal-dominated Kandhamal district has this to say to all those who are curious, “I was born to encourage sports.”
Like millions in the country, Nikash Kanhar is a Virat Kohli fan. It appears to be a normal thing until you actually see him. He is naked from the top and his face and the torso is colored in the tri-color of the Indian nation flag. On his chest, face and head, he has got ‘INDIA’ painted in big bold and beautiful letters. One can clearly say from his appearance that Kanhar is proud of the nation’s sporting glory.
He had made news in 2016, after mortgaging his mother’s gold jewellery to watch his favourite cricketer Virat Kohli live. “From the mortgage, I generated some Rs 25,000. I bought tickets for Rs 11,000 to come to Mohali and see Kohli bat,” the cricket enthusiast had said in 2016.
But when he was asked by OMMCOM NEWS on Saturday that what brings him here to Bhubaneswar during Hockey World Cup when Virat isn’t playing, Kanhar explained, “I was born to encourage sports. Even if Virat doesn’t play hockey, I am here to cheer for Team India. On top of that, hockey is very special to Odisha mainly in the regions of Sundargarh and Rourkela. Also, this is Lord Jagannath’s land and India will surely perform will.”
Kanhar’s passion is obvious. He works as a bus conductor in Phulbani and earns Rs 250 per day. With that amount, he manages to make arrangements for his visits to Bhubaneswar on days of India’s hockey match and also pay for the extensive body paint. Impressed with Bhubaneswar’s new look, he roared, “This is homeland of Hockey and I am proud of it. Chak De India.”
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