Sushil Kumar has won bronze medal in free style wrestling for India at Beijing Olympics! And at the same time he is showered with cash awards from various state governments and rightly so. Sushil Kumar deserves every lakh he is getting as cash prize now and more. Afterall someone is able to win a bronze at Olympics for India after 56 years!
So who won it before 56 years? And how much cash award he received? I was unaware about him before Leander Paes won another individual bronze in Athens Olympic in 1996. His name was Khashaba Jadhav. He won a bronze for India in wrestling at Helsinki Olympics in 1952. Khashaba Jadhav ensured that his son didn’t go for wrestling as a career or as a sportsperson.
Today after hearing about Sushil Kumar what Khashaba Jadhav’s son said? But why son came forward to say something on his father’s behalf? Because Khashaba Jadhav died unsung and in penury in an road accident in 1984. And we didn’t know about that incident till 1996.
Read what the son is saying
Remembering his father’s plight, Ranjit said, “People would not know my father till 1996. When Leander Paes bagged the individual bronze medal in Athens, press wrote about my father and people came to know that it was Khashaba Jadhav who had bagged India the first individual medal. He lived in a world of obscurity and penury.”
Khashaba Jadhav had to participate in matches to pay off his debt because he went to Olympics by borrowing money.
“His (Khashaba Jadhav) feat is unparallaled… just for the fact that he had to face so many hurdles. The environment that time was very different. India was trying to stand in its feet, having just gained independence five years back… there was no encouragement for a sportsperson,” Ranjit told PTI from Goleswar, hometown of Khashaba, in Karad district of Maharashtra.
Denied any financial help from the erstwhile chief minister of the then Bombay, Moraji Desai, who told Khashaba, “We don’t have money to go to Olympics”, the wrestler ran from pillar to post to arrange Rs 4,000, says Ranjit.