From Being An Onion Farmer In Maharashtra’s Drought-Stricken Farms To The Waters Of Rio Olympics

The Logical Indian Maharashtra

August 10th, 2016 / 12:18 PM

Source: Roopa Pai

If it weren’t so heartbreaking, this would be a funny story. Imagine this, if you will – there is this young 21-year-old onion farmer in a tiny village called Talegaon Rohi. The village is in one of the most drought-stricken areas of Maharashtra, the kind of place where farmer suicides are as routine as 45 deg C temperatures and accepted with the same weary resignation. His only familiarity with largish bodies of water comes from looking down the deep, dark wells his father digs and seeing, sometimes, a suggestion of a shimmer somewhere far below. He doesn’t do it often, though – he is terrified of water.

And then, suddenly, the universe shifts. The young man’s father dies, and the burden of supporting his family falls on his lanky 6 ft 4 frame. In 2012, looking for opportunities outside his village, he goes off and joins the army. An officer takes stock of his build, and suggests he try rowing. The young man swallows hard and gets into the boat. He knows that if he begins to do well at the sport, there is a chance for promotions, and monetary rewards, which he can send back home to his mother.

Four years later, exactly four years after he picked up an oar for the first time, the young man comes to the Olympics, an international sporting event he has never heard of until a year before, as his country’s sole qualifier in the rowing category.

This is a true story. The young man in question is Dattu Bhokanal, who qualified for the quarterfinals of the men’s single sculls on Saturday at Rio. Today, at 5:30 pm IST, he will row his heart out again, attempting to book himself a berth in the semis. An entire country will be rooting for him, hoping for his fairy-tale to have a happily ever-after.

But chances are that Dattu Bhokanal will not be as concerned about that – chances are he will be thinking of his mother, lying in a hospital bed in Pune, paralysed after a recent fall, unable to comprehend what her son has achieved.

It takes all kinds of strengths to be an Olympian.



Written by – Roopa Pai


Contributors

Written by :

Edited by :

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Maharashtra: PMO Returns Rs 1,064 Back To Onion Farmer, Asks Him To Send Money Online

Farmer Sells Onions

Maharashtra: Rs 1,064 For 750 Kg, Angry Onion Farmer Donates The Amount To PM’s Relief Fund

From Being A Waiter And A Domestic Help, He Beat Four Former World Champions In The Finals At The Rio Olympics

Sakshi Malik

A Girl From The State With Worst Sex Ratio Gives India First Medal In Rio Olympics

Rio Olympics: The Sensational Feat Of Sakshi Malik, The First Indian Woman To Win A Medal In Wrestling

Kuwait Shooter Becomes The First Independent Athlete To Win A Gold At Rio Olympics

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Over 87,000 WhatsApp Groups May Be Using Political Propaganda To Influence Voters, Says Report

News

Kerala: Education Dept Allows Class 10 Students To Go To Washroom After Student Defecates Inside Exam Hall

News

IAF’s Strength Increases After Induction Of Four “Multi-Role” Chinook Helicopters

News

Kerala: Professor Quits After HRD Asks PhDs Only To Be On Topics Related To ‘National Priority’

News

Cash-Strapped Jet Airways’ Founder Naresh Goyal Steps Down From Board

News

12-Yr-Old Hostage Killed By Militants Despite Family’s Emotional Appeal To Release Him

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.