Change of turf for a brick kiln labourer in MP to national sub-junior hockey player | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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Change of turf for a brick kiln labourer in MP to national sub-junior hockey player

bhopal Updated: May 06, 2015 18:03 IST
Shruti Tomar
Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times
National Sub-Junior Hockey Championship


From muddy place of brick kiln to green turf, hockey came to him accidentally.

Till two years ago, he had never even seen hockey, but today he is a member of the Madhya Pradesh team participating in the National Sub-Junior Hockey Championship.

Story of Rishiraj Mahobiya, originally from a small village in Narsinghpur district, took a curious turn after he shifted to Narsinghpur town following death of his father to earn livelihood for himself and his mother from a brick kiln.

"After coming to Narsinghpur at my maternal uncle’s home, I had no friends, I felt lonely. I used to work as a labourer at a brick kiln after completing 14 years and I would often sit under tamarind tree to take rest. In the ground where this tree stood in the corner, a group of boys used to play hockey. Seeing me under the tree almost daily, coach of the group Rajkumar Chaubey once called me and gave a hockey stick in my hand. That was the first instance when I grabbed the hockey stick," said Mahobiya.

"The coach liked my speed. He asked me to take the ball to the goal post. I did it fast. He asked me to join other players on the ground. That night, I couldn’t sleep due to over excitement. I told my mother that I would play hockey. She smiled and said ‘beta ghar kaise chalega hockey se’ (How will hockey help us earn money?). I didn’t go to the field next day. But I couldn’t stop myself. Third day, I reached the ground. The coach gave me a hockey kit and I started practising hockey," he added.

"My mother always supports me. But it was my selection for the sub-junior national hockey championship being organised in Jammu & Kashmir when it was the first time she said she felt proud of me. It's just like a dream come true for me because I never even imagined in my wildest dreams that I can ever play hockey given my poor financial condition," said Mahobiya with a smile on his face.

Showering praises on Mahobiya, Chaubey said, "He is like an ironman. He makes a fine balance among his studies, work and hockey. He attends school in the morning. He makes bricks in the day and in the evening he practises hockey. I don't think, anyone can put in such a hard labour as he does. Hardly any player can match his speed."