Updated: April 18, 2021 8:16:03 am
Days after a video of former Chandigarh boxer Abid Khan, who drives a pick-up auto in Chandigarh, went viral on the social media websites including micro-blogging app Twitter, Khan is back to coaching children at the park near his EWS flat in Dhanas, Chandigarh. The video of 60-year-old Khan, who is a diploma holder in coaching from the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala, has been shared by the likes of Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Vijender Singh, 2010 CWG champion Manoj Kumar and Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar and the former Chandigarh champion boxer finds this recognition as a motivational force to start coaching.
“It’s the result of the motivation and support of all the sports lovers that I am coaching children in whatever way I can. In the past too, I wanted to pursue coaching but there was no motivation or support. Now I am glad that people have got to know about me and I want to show the same passion in coaching as I used to show while boxing in my younger days. It’s good to know that people like Vijender, Manoj and Farhan Akhtar have come to support me and when I get to talk with them, I will tell them that they will get to see champions from my coaching,” shared Khan.
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) April 15, 2021
A multiple Panjab University Inter-College champion, Khan, who had seven siblings, would also claim bronze medal in North India Senior Boxing Championship at Phillaur, Punjab, in 1982 followed by silver in the next edition at Shimla before he won the title in the Seventh North India Senior Boxing Championship at Chandigarh in 1985. Despite completing his NIS diploma in 1988, no job and financial instability would mean that Khan would work as taxi driver in Saudi Arabia in the 1990’s. After his return to India, Khan started working as a driver and loader for a private firm and later ran his own pick-up auto before it was scrapped.
“When I had started boxing, I thought it will help my family to improve our financial condition. When I completed the diploma from NIS, I tried a lot for a job but it was of no avail and I went to Saudi Arab for work. After my return, I plied my pick-up auto starting 2004 before the auto was scrapped and I had to work as a driver-loader in recent years. All these years made me believe that in this country, poor sports-persons only suffer,” says Khan.
Last month, some of Khan’s friends had started a drive to arrange funds for Khan but it was only after the video got viral that most of the boxers are coming to support Khan. “I have known Abid since 1980 as we competed in many nationals together. It was mix of his uprightness and bad luck which resulted in him getting no job. Earlier, I had offered him to buy a new pick-up but he had refused. We hope that he will be helped in a way that it helps him in long term,” said Harjinder Pal Singh, former secretary, Chandigarh Boxing Association.
जब ज़िंदगी में जीने का जज़्बा हों तों रास्ते बन भी जाते है और सहायता भी हो जाती है बस आगे बढ़ने की इच्छा हों, भाई @duggal_saurabh को भी आभार जिसने इनके जज़्बे को एक नई दिशा दिलाने में महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका दिखायी, अगर आप नहीं इनकी पहचान करवाते तों इनका सपना कभी पूरा नहीं होता। जयहिंद https://t.co/8gfhxR1NSP
— Manoj Kumar 🇮🇳 (@BoxerManojkr) April 16, 2021
While Khan has urged people not to donate money to him, boxers feel that help should come in a way to help him set a coaching centre or a job. “We collected more than Rs 60,000 and deposited in his bank account. He has only accepted as we are his friends and we want to see him back to boxing in a way or two,” shares former national champion and Chandigarh Police Inspector Jasbir Singh.
2010 CWG Champion Manoj Kumar apart from Dronacharya awardee coach Shiv Singh are also gathering support from fellow boxers. “Abid was one of most technical boxers of his times and we are working to get him into main stream coaching. Having seen him in his younger days, I am sure he will do it with the same passion,” says Singh. “When I got to know about Abid sir, I shared with fellow boxers and we want to get him back to coaching,” said Kumar.
As for Khan, he is busy teaching kids straight punches. “My coach Balkar Singh always told me to first master the straight punch and that’s what I am telling the kids,” says Khan.