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Athlete Khushbir Kaur, Who Is Now A DSP, Recalls The Time When A Cowshed Was Her Home

  • IWB Post
  •  August 9, 2019

Hailing from a small town in Amritsar called Rasulpur, Khushbir Kaur, the silver medalist race walker, is one of country’s finest. Now a DSP with Punjab Police, Kaur and her family struggled through poverty after death of her father. 

Those hardships of living under a cowshed are still fresh in the memory of Khushbir. “It has been quite a tough journey,” Khushbir told The Times of India.

Khushbir lost her father, Balkar Singh, when she was six.

The family of four daughters, one son, and a mother would regularly skip meals once or twice a day. From a cowshed, they moved to a crumbling house with a leaky log roof. When it rained, they had to accommodate their cows inside the house.

Her mother Jasbir Kaur recalled, “During the rainy season, my daughters, son, the cows and I all lived in a single room, stashed together.”

Times changed as Khushbir grew up and started playing sports for the country. The racewalker participated in the 2013 World Championships in the 20 km walk category, clocked 1:34:28, and finished 39th. At the 2014 Asian walking championships in Japan, she came third with a timing of 1:33:37 and bettered her own national record.

“It was only after Khushbir started winning medals and awards that we could afford a good meal. And after she won silver in the 20km race walk event at the 2014 Asian Games, we got a cemented roof over our heads,” said Jasbir.

Jasbir is extremely proud of her daughter’s achievements and the good days that she has brought to the family. “Hun kisay nu vee pind vicho pucho ki DSP Khushbir day ghar jana hai tae saray tuhanu das daen gay (Now ask anyone in the village that you have to go to DSP Khushbir’s house, all of them will tell you where to go),” she added proudly.

Recalling their days of hardship, Jasbir shared, “My husband was an employee with the state electricity department. But after his death, my in-laws’ family left me to survive with five young children – all on my own. But I didn’t lose heart, I dedicated my life to raising my children and encouraged my daughters to study as well as be involved in sports.”

She added, “We had a couple of cows. I used to sell milk and then stitch clothes, but the income was not enough. The teachers at the school where Khushbir and her sisters studied would often help them – with studies as well as school fees.”

Jasbir was the family’s sole breadwinner after her husband’s death until Khushbir started earning. Khushbir’s other two sisters – Harjit Kaur and Karamjit Kaur – are also into sports. The third – Dharamjit Kaur – is a sports enthusiast. Her brother Bikramjit Singh wants to join the Indian Army.

“My daughters are my pride. My message to anyone who indulges in female infanticide is: Remember, the girls saved the nation’s pride in the last Olympics,” Jasbir said.

H/T: Times of India

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