Nishan Manohar Kadam from Mannur village in Belagvi district of Karnataka last week won a silver medal in the state-level championship. This is the story about his indomitable spirit that springs hope even as parts of Karnataka continue to battle with floods.
Kadam, a Class XII student, had been eyeing the wrestling event for long. But when the time came to realise his dream, a massive flood marooned his village. But he and his father, a farmer, found a way to beat the nature’s fury.
On August 7, when Kadam has to catch a train to Bengaluru to participate in the wrestling event, floodwater was head-high around his home. The three roads connecting his village were all submerged and damaged. They had been cordoned off by the rescue workers, according to a Times of India report.
However, this did not deter Kadam and his father. They covered the boxing kit in plastic, and jumped into the floodwater. They covered a distance of 2.5 km swimming for 45 minutes to reach the spot where Kadam could join the Belagavi district team.
Three days later, Nishan won silver in his category in Bengaluru. “I was waiting for this event and didn’t want to miss it at any cost,” said a jubilant Kadam.
“Since our area was surrounded by water and no vehicles could enter, we had no other option but to swim,” he said.
Although the teenager could not win gold in the light flyweight category losing out to Bharath from Bengaluru, he was happy with his performance and hopeful of a better show next year. “This time I lost gold because of my bad luck. Next year, I will surely win gold,” he said.
Lauding Kadam, team manager Gajendra S Tripathi said the situation has been tough for the past few days and many parents did not allow their children to take part in the event.
He said, “Since it is risky to travel, many parents didn’t allow their kids to come. Even Nishan missed practice for many days but when he heard about the championship, he said he had to be there. He told us he would swim across so we arranged to pick him up from the nearest motorable road.”