Harish Kumar was part of the Indian Sepak Takraw (kick volleyball) team that won the bronze medal at the Asian Games 2018.
Little has changed for Harish Kumar since he came back home after winning a bronze medal for India at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. Son of an auto rickshaw driver, Harish Kumar used to sell tea at North Delhi’s Majun Ka Tilla area to support his family. Now that he’s back, he has had to return to the same tea stall.
The bronze medallist said he doesn’t regret the hard times that he had endure, but was disappointed when “no came to welcome me home.” Part of the Indian Sepak Takraw (kick volleyball) team at the Asian Games 2018.
— InUth (@InUthdotcom) September 7, 2018
Harish’s talent was spotted by his coach, Hemraj who saw him play with cycle tyres, rolling them forward with a stick. He took him to the Sport Authority Of India (SAI) centre and taught him the game. He soon began training. Harish used work at tea shop during the day, and train from 2 pm to 6 pm, even as locals laughed off his efforts.
“People used to say that he will not be able to do anything, he is just being fooled by the coach and by looting his money, he can do nothing,” he said.
Harish’s mother, Indira Devi said, “I have brought up my kids with a lot of struggle. His father is an auto-driver and we have a small tea shop. My son also works at tea shop to assist his father. I am very thankful to the government for providing food and accommodation to my son. I am very thankful to his coach Hemraj who has supported my kid to achieve this accomplishment.”
— Mantu Sharma (@mantuusharma) September 8, 2018
Speaking of the hard times their family went through, Harish’s brother Dhawan said, “There were times when we did not have money to pay our rent. His coach Hemraj took him under his training and admitted him to the stadium. Later Sports Authority of India supported us by giving monthly finances and sports kits.. I also urge the government to give my brother a government job so that he can support our family.”