His circumstances did not allow him to go to school, but a government school headmaster’s motivation helped him enrol in the school, as a result of which, the 10-year-old Shabeer has 12 medals in block and state-level kabaddi and 400 metre relay race events to his name today.
“We are Muslims. So, my parents were worried whether I will be able to adjust with students of other communities in school. In 2014, Bhamian government school headmaster Sukhram visited our house in slum area on Tajpur road and convinced my parents to send me to school. That was when I first went to school,” said Shabeer, who studies in Class-3 at Government Primary School in Bhamian.
Headmaster Sukhram said, “Shabeer was a very bright student. Gradually I started to develop his interest in sports and he is performing well. I am providing uniform and proper diet to Shabeer from my pocket. Government is not extending any kind of support to him.”
“In 2014, I won my first medal in block-level national style kabaddi. I was so happy when I received the bronze medal on the podium, Sahbeer said.
His father Sultan, who is suffering from tuberculosis, said, “We had never seen a medal before. Our joy knew no bounds when he reached home with a medal. Now, we are planning to enroll other kids in school.”
Shabeer said “It was a day full of excitement when I was awarded a silver medal and tracksuit during the state-level school kabaddi championship in Anandpur Sahib on March 20. Now, I will work very hard for the upcoming championships.”
Sukhram said, “Shabeer is bringing laurels to the school in sports. He is very hard working and used to practice for more than five hours a day and the hard work is paying back. We have decided to take care of his diet and other things so that he excels in the sport. We are also requesting the government to help such students, who eagerly participate in sports and perform well.”
“His achievements have inspired other children of our community to join school,” mother Sammu said.
Shabeer has four siblings, and two of them (brothers) work at a decorator’s shop and family survives on their monthly income of Rs 5,000.