teacher’s class act

Anisa Sayyed was mobbed outside the Karni Singh Shooting Range by the waiting media after her second successive gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday. While expressing her joys of winning two in a row,Anisa knew what was going to happen the next day. On being asked “what are your plans for tomorrow,” Sayyed […]

Written by Vinayak Padmadeo | New Delhi | Published: October 7, 2010 2:34:16 am

Anisa Sayyed was mobbed outside the Karni Singh Shooting Range by the waiting media after her second successive gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday.

While expressing her joys of winning two in a row,Anisa knew what was going to happen the next day.

On being asked “what are your plans for tomorrow,” Sayyed said: “I’ll be here at the range,and I’ll see how many of you are keen to talk to me then.”

“I realise what gold medals can do. Right now I am getting a beep,somebody is trying to get in touch with me. But all this counts for nothing. Whatever I have done so far I have done on my own,but reaching here was almost impossible,” the 30-year-old said.

No coach,hardly any backer,Anisa’s real story starts from Pune. Khadki to be exact,where the youngest of Abdul Hameed Sayyed’s family,was living in a lower-middle class settlement,sharing it with her four siblings,besides parents.

Abdul Hameed wasn’t against her freedom,but was helpless,being a mere worker at the Telco. “My father had no money,so even though he did not stop me,I had to work and hope somebody helps me to progress in the sport.” Anisa recalled.

Her warm-up was on a cycle,while on her way to Lady Hawabhai School,where she was a primary teacher. Whatever she could save from her remuneration of Rs 1500,was spent on a range.

Starting was tough,but once scores started improving,she got her set of backers. Help poured in,before savings from working at the local school,helped her little progress.

Gani Sheikh,who got her into pistol shooting,mentored her during the most difficult phase. PV Inamdar is another one. “It’s sad Lingam sir is not here with us. I owe it to him for making it this far. He would’ve loved to see me this way.”

Right now her husband,Mubarak Hussain,has been her biggest pillar of hope. “If you see,I’m almost her PA,but I don’t regret at all” he said. “All her paperwork is my responsibilty,but I have to do whatever little help I can be,knowing how she has come this far on her own,I have to back her” Hussain added.

Now she lives alone in Faridabad with her husband,while her in laws,stay 60km away in a village called chainsaheb,tehsil Palwal.

“Can you believe what this gold means to many others like me from Muslim families. I was never stopped. I used to inform them rather than asking for permissions. Hope people can see this message.”

“See sir,you always said I was double (frame-wise). Today I got a double,” Anisa Sayyed told national coach Sunny Thomas after her second gold at the Games.

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