Wednesday, 13 June 2012
KHADKI - PRIDE PREJUDICE AND PLACE OF HONOR
There is one common factor that is common between battles and Sports and if you wish to see a rare combination than turn your wheels to Khadki.
Khadki a battle ground of historic importance, now house to Bombay Sappers, ammunition factories and a war cemetery. And some of the finest sportsman has come out of this land of spirits. The common thing that connects is spirits. “I am honored to serve these dead people sleeping beneath concrete”. Said Mr.Behnwaal of Khadki War cemetery, which is maintained by funds, provided by commonwealth countries “many have come to salute their spirits from far off east and west. And the list include all the chiefs of UK defense forces” says Mr.Behnwaal who adds that a piper of British Army who spend his retirement income on visiting all the war cemeteries around the world and played pipe till his last breath in the honor of soldiers. Sevak Nayyar CEO Khadki Cantonment board adds,” like lot many people from Milkha Singh’s village followed his path when he made it big on track and field. But I am not aware who has started this movement. Here hockey players are in plenty. There is demand for hockey if somebody else approach we are open to it.
Agrees M.Pillai father of Dhanraj Pillai “In fact we are thankful that they are contributing to Hockey and other games”. He came here with this father in pre independence time and settled down here while he played for India and his coming two generations are dedicated to it. “From Ammunition factory ground I have seen many players coming out and shining at international scenario. During rains whole Pune and Khadki is flooded the ground dries with in five minutes after rains that I haven’t seen anywhere in India as long as I served as coach to many teams” authenticate Pillai whose son is fighting a tough battle to prove his love and continuity for Hockey.
It is amazing to see sports all around in Khadki. Everything to anything is being played out here. Cricket, Football, Boxing, Karate, Hockey, Swimming, you name a game sportsman of the same are there. “From alone Bombay Sappers there are some 45 players who have represented India in different competitions. Five are Arjun awardees and to add more the very first Dhyanchand award for sports came to us.” Boasts Lt.col. Sunil Kumar of Bombay sappers. It was established in 1820 and looking at its valor, glamour and gorgeous nature Queen named it as Royal Engineers corps. And at that time commanders gave a special room to sports and till date the tradition is followed. While they command some 3 param vir charka till date, in pre independence time the company was entitled with one Victoria Cross. “Every year we send Talent scouting team to rope in more and more talent in sports from all over country and followed by their recruitment in Army. And from here many have made it big internationally and the list includes Sub. Shivaji Bhosale first Indian boxer to fetch medal in commonwealth games, Col. M.S.Pillai who sat a record while winning national championship for five times col.J.S.Rawat who set a new record in Ranji trophy acclaiming two hat tricks in Ranji trophy” claims Sunil Kumar.
“After I completed my tenure with Army I chose to settle down here. I was recruited owing to my skills in Boxing and from here my career took a flight in fight” says Ajit Singh, ex-olympian and International boxer whose fight with the than world champion Gama in Mumbai in 80’s is still remembered. He is living a low profile life and actively involved as coach in boxing, “It’s been years teaching boxing and under my hand came out boxers who took their career to even International level”. In a nearby school he has been teaching boxing for more than a decade during evening hours. “I have special sentiments for this place as not only I was champion of rings but created many such champion of rings”, concludes Ajit Singh.
Khadki boys have a rare quality that they never give up till the last drop. So we have tried many methods to raise tempo of our team also we should trykhadki. Its weather, healthy food, cheap living could turn them into a spirit-ful fighter as games are won by spirits rest everything is just training.