A small Dhaba in Himachal Pradesh, a family that was used to sleeping on the freezing floor, without mattresses to protect them from the cold, and a talented girl with blazing eyes; this is the story of Kavita Thakur, a 24-year-old National level Kabaddi player who helped India win gold in the 2014 Asian Games and who is now a defender in the National Kabaddi team, is going to play in Asian Games 2018
A Rough Childhood
Born to Prithvi Singh and Krishna Devi, owners of a tiny Dhaba in Jagatsukh village 6 km away from Manali, Kavita Thakur helped her parents sell tea and snacks at the cramped shack throughout her childhood and early teen years. She has done everything from sweeping the floors to washing the dirty utensils- all the odd jobs at the Dhaba to support her parents along with her elder sister and younger brother.
Kavita told the Times of India, “In winter we slept at the back of our shop on the floor. It was unbearable since the floor felt like ice. Back then we didn’t have money to buy mattresses. There were days when we didn’t make any money, and we all went hungry.”
How Kabaddi Happened
Kavita had taken up the sport during her school years in 2007 because it was not costly. Her elder sister Kalpana, who was a better Kabaddi player among the two according to her opinion, had to leave behind her dream of someday playing at the highest level to help out at the shop.
Kavita, however, continued to persevere and consistently perform at the National level. Two years later, she joined the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Dharamshala. Her family gave her immense support throughout her journey, which allowed her to follow her dreams.
She was soon selected in the National Team for women, which in turn brought monetary support from the government. The kabaddi player was then able to focus on her game completely. “I did not have to worry about where the next meal was coming from,” she told Times Of India.
A Minor Setback
According to the Dainik Jagran, in 2011, Kavita was diagnosed with a digestive system ailment which left her hospitalised for six months, forcing her to take a break from the sport. She was worried that she might never be able to return and play the sport again. The year 2012 saw Kavita make a comeback to the game, helping India win gold at the 2012 Asian Kabaddi Championship.
2014 Asian Games
Asian Games opened her doors to widespread acclaim and government recognition. The financial support from the government changed Kavita and her family’s life. They moved to a rented accommodation near Manali town. Which child wouldn’t want to do something for their parents, to give back- especially when they have seen first hand the struggle their parents have gone through to raise them? Kavita is no different and too feels proud and is happy that she is now able to provide proper housing for her family. “My younger brother can now get a good education,” she told the TOI.
Her parents are just as proud of their daughter. A few years ago they could not have even thought about moving out of their Dhaba, much less moving into an actual house. Her mother, Krishna Devi told Times of India that she wishes their daughter continues to bring laurels to the country.
She is a defender in the nine-member women’s national team about to play in the 2018 Asian Games.
The Logical Indian Take
To not let our circumstances rule us, to rise above the chains holding us down and outshine the stars themselves, is what the 24-year-old kabaddi player Kavita Thakur’s story teaches us. However, she is not the only case of a sports gem being found amongst the poorest of our country. There is a lot of untapped potential in our villages- talented children who need nothing but a little support to fulfil their dreams and bring accolades for the nation.
The Logical Indian applauds Kavita for her fantastic achievements and wishes her all the best for the upcoming 2018 Asian Games.