Ram Baboo, an Asian Games bronze medalist in race walking, emerged from the humblest of beginnings in an impoverished village in Uttar Pradesh. His journey from poverty to fame is a testament to his unwavering determination and ability to shape his destiny.
A Life of Struggle and Sacrifice
Born into a family of daily wage laborers in Behura village, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, Ram Baboo’s upbringing was marked by financial hardship. His father toiled as a manual laborer, earning a meager monthly income of Rs 3000 to 3500, barely sufficient to support a family of six. Baboo, the only son, had three sisters; his mother helped her husband while managing the household.
“We don’t have any land, and my father’s work is seasonal,” Baboo explained. “So, I needed to do all these things to realize my dream.”
A Dream Born in Struggles
Baboo’s early years were marked by something other than academic excellence or study interest. His aspirations lay in sports, a passion he was determined to pursue. Against his initial reluctance, he took the entrance examination for Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) near his home and secured a spot in class VI.
“I kept cuttings of the newspaper articles and photos of the 2012 Olympics medal winners and kept them in my folder,” Baboo recalled.
A Shift Towards Race Walking
As he progressed through JNV, Baboo discovered his enduring stamina and ability to run long distances without fatigue. He shifted his focus to long-distance running, initially competing in marathons, 10,000m, and 5,000m races. However, knee pain forced him to reconsider his approach.
With the guidance of local coach Pramod Yadav, Baboo transitioned to race walking, a discipline that placed less strain on his knees and allowed him to capitalize on his endurance.
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