Sharath is the son of a coolie and a homemaker. He lives with his family of four in a small rented house, subsisting on what’s earned by his father day to day.
In 2011, his life took an unexpected turn. A programme that works with street children in Chennai, entered him as a participant in ‘Koodivilayadu’ – an inter – NGO sports meet organised by Secure Giving in aid of Concern India Foundation. That year, Sharath took home the gold for high jump, 200m and 400 meter races.
He returned the next year to achieve similar victories, when he was spotted by Sports Authority of Tamil Nadu in Chennai. Their representative said the boy had great potential and would thrive under proper training.
Still, for the persistent boy, this training simply wasn’t enough; he wanted more hours, more practise. In another fortunate turn of events, St. Joseph’s Sports Club agreed to take over his training. Sharath went on to represent them at the district and state levels, even winning the Chief Minister’s gold medal for athletics.
He takes no part of this for granted. Training begins at 5 am and is followed by college; after this, he works at the theatre until it’s time for his evening practice, and then it’s back to work till 10 pm.
“Life has come a long way and I am closer to my dreams. I always knew sports were a part of my life, but didn’t know how to take it to the next level. It was Koodivilayadu that led me down this path in 2011 and I will always be grateful to Concern India Foundation for the encouragement and support they’ve provided over the years.”
Sharath aspires to one day be recruited under the sports quota of the Indian Military Services and become an officer in the Army or Navy. He attributes his progress to the support he has received from Concern India Foundation.
Concern India Foundation, Chennai