Hurdler Ankit Kumar Balances Training and Gig Work in Delhi Slum

Aspiring hurdler Ankit Kumar balances athletic training and gig work to pursue his sporting dreams in Delhi's Kotla Mubarakpur, a hub for underprivileged athletes lacking proper facilities in their hometowns.

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Salman Khan
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Hurdler Ankit Kumar Balances Training and Gig Work in Delhi Slum

Hurdler Ankit Kumar Balances Training and Gig Work in Delhi Slum

Ankit Kumar, a 21-year-old state-ranked hurdler from Kundli, Haryana, faces the daily challenge of balancing his athletic training with working as a gig worker delivering groceries to make ends meet. Kumar lives in a shared room in the urban slum of Kotla Mubarakpur in Delhi, alongside hundreds of other aspiring track and field athletes who have come to the capital to pursue their sporting dreams.

Kumar trains at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi, which despite its poor maintenance, is the best option available for many young athletes from villages in neighboring states where proper coaching and training facilities are lacking. The stadium provides a ray of optimism for these budding sportspeople to hone their skills and compete at higher levels.

The flexibility of gig work allows Kumar and his fellow athletes to fund their athletic aspirations while dedicating time to training. Kotla Mubarakpur, with its proximity to the stadium and affordable living spaces, has become a hub for these determined individuals. The neighborhood has also developed a thriving ecosystem catering to the needs of the athletes, with stores selling discounted sports apparel and restaurants frequented by the aspiring sportspeople.

Why this matters: The story of Ankit Kumar and the hundreds of other athletes living in Kotla Mubarakpur highlights the challenges faced by aspiring sportspeople from underprivileged backgrounds in India. It sheds light on the lack of proper training facilities and support systems for athletes in smaller towns and villages, forcing them to migrate to cities like Delhi in pursuit of their dreams.

Kumar's determination to excel in his sport while juggling the demands of gig work is a testament to the resilience and dedication of these young athletes. "It's not easy, but I know that if I keep working hard, I can achieve my goals," Kumar said, echoing the sentiment of many of his fellow athletes in Kotla Mubarakpur who are chasing their sporting ambitions despite the odds stacked against them.

Key Takeaways

  • Ankit Kumar, 21, balances hurdler training and gig work to make ends meet.
  • Kotla Mubarakpur, Delhi, is home to many aspiring athletes lacking proper facilities.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium provides training, but is poorly maintained.
  • Gig work flexibility allows athletes to fund their dreams and train.
  • Article highlights challenges faced by underprivileged athletes pursuing sports in India.