Meet India’s own ‘David Beckham’ who found mention in PM Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’

David Beckham is a 17-year-old cyclist from Andaman. (Source: kheloindia)

Addressing the nation on his monthly radio show 'Mann Ki Baat' on Republic Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated all the playing and non-playing participants of the third edition of the Khelo India Games. The event, which was launched by the current government with the objective of developing sportspersons at the grassroots level, saw 6000 athletes take part and concluded on January 22.

During his address, the Prime Minister made multiple references to several budding athletes, but it also featured the name of 'David Beckham'. However, he was not referring to the legendary English footballer, but a budding cyclist from the Andamans.

"If I now take the name of David Beckham, you will think whether I’m to the legendary International Footballer. But now we also have a David Beckham amidst us and he has won a gold medal at the Youth Games in Guwahati. That too in the 200-meter sprint event in cycling," the PM said.

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Beckham is a 17-year-old teenager, who clinched a gold in the 200-meter cycling event at the Youth Games held in Guwahati. Beckham said he took up cycling on his grandfather's insistence.

"My family is a huge fan of David Beckham, so they named me after him. I also became a David Beckham fan. I used to play football. I have played in the Subroto Cup tournament. Then my grandfather asked me to take up cycling," a report on the Khelo India site quoted the teenager as saying.

The report said that it was difficult to get advanced cycling training in the Andamans, so Beckham moved to bigger cities in pursuit of his dream. He initially started off by training in New Delhi in 2017 and has since improved.

The 17-year-old lost his father in the tsunami, which destroyed many of the coastal islands back in 2004, and ten years later his mother passed away due to an infection.

"I live with my maternal grandfather now. My mother passed away due to an infection in 2014 and my father passed away due to the Tsunami in 2004. I was quite young when my father passed away," Beckham said.