I was nuisance personified to my teachers and parents. I could barely sit in a class," exclaimed Harsh Rana, who is now a national level gold winner in jump rope championship.
Competing against kids older than his age, 14-year-old Harsh, a resident of south Delhi's Mehrangarhi village, is among 1,000 students from the country, who participated in the national jump rope championship held in Karnataka last year.
The sport - jump rope - is equivalent to running for 3,000 metre in three minutes, it is believed. Harsh has set a national record of jumping 412 times in three minutes, for which he bagged the gold medal in the tournament. Harsh is now among the brightest kids in his school, who besides being a national champion, is also the second highest scorer in his class.
'HIS SINCERITY IS INSPIRING'
"I realised that I wanted to do something fruitful, so I went ahead," said the teenager who trains for over six hours a day. Harsh starts training as early as 4 in the morning, eyeing a spot in global competitions. Harsh's trainer Vivek Somania told Mail Today that he saw the energy Harsh exuded and hence, of the 500 other participants, the 14-year-old caught his attention, akin to how Aamir Khan spots Darsheel Safary in Taare Zameen Par.
"I have personally seen eagerness in Harsh to deliver. His sincerity is inspiring," Vivek Somania told MAIL TODAY.
"We have seen him diverting his negative energy into something positive. I have seen my sports teacher as well working extra hours to hone Harsh. He is a classic case of education and schooling gone right, where a wall crasher has become a national jump rope champion," said B K Sharma, principal of Delhi government-run Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in Lajpat Nagar, where Harsh studies.
His father is a migrant from Rajasthan working in south Delhi in a menial job who has shouldered the responsibility to bring up seven kids, two of his own and five of his late brother.
Making enough to just eke out a living, Harsh's father Kushpal Singh Rana now intends to use the Rs 62,000 awarded by the Delhi government for Harsh's education and training. "I am aware that this is not going to completely take care of Harsh's expenses but I am willing to use it all to tap out his full potential," said Kushpal.
Kushpal added that it is a matter of pride to see his son, who once was a reason for Kushpal's multiple visits to school for misconduct, chart out a schedule encompassing studies and training in equal measure.