Bengal Warriors’ pacy and powerful raider owes his strength to the weekend job as a labourer he used to do as a 12-year-old. Financial crunch led the youngster to take up the task of hauling bags of sand onto a truck. The earnings would go into meeting family’s daily expenditure.
On one occasion he used his salary to purchase a vest and training shorts — requirements for admission at the Islampura Vyam Mandal, where he learnt kabaddi.
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His speed and flair in the raiding department earned him the praise of many experts, justifying his hefty Rs 9.6 lakh purchase at the auction last year.
Once a part-time waiter at a posh Mumbai hotel, 21-year-old Rishank is now one of the most recognisable faces when he checks-in at five-stars around the country along with his U Mumba teammates. Throughout the year we would train at the Sagar Nagar Kabaddi Club, near his chawl in Mumbai.
Once during the rains, his home got flooded and the family had to incur huge debt to repair it. This forced him to drop out of college and take up a waiter’s job. Nonetheless, his abilities on the kabaddi mat was soon noticed by BPCL who offered him a steady job, before U Mumba came knocking.
At 12, Kashiling Adake’s nascent presence on the kabaddi courts of the Kasegaon village in the Sangli district of Maharashtra had come to an abrupt end. The only-child of farming parents was forced to take up odd jobs after his father’s death. The mother-son duo had to deal with large unpaid medical bills as well as manage funds to complete the underconstruction house. Adake lost any hope of getting back into the game. Some years later his cousin Sunil, who played for BPCL in Mumbai forced the youngster back into kabaddi. Today the 22-year-old is a key member of Dabang Delhi, having been drafted in for Rs 10 lakh. He thanks his cousin for this second chance.