From Laborer to Asian Games Medalist: The Inspirational Journey of Ram Baboo
Ram Baboo, who once worked as a laborer during the Covid pandemic, has won an Asian Games medal in race walking, inspiring many.
Adverse circumstances often serve as a test of a person’s resilience. While some may remain trapped in their circumstances, others face them head-on and work toward their goals, ultimately making history. Ram Baboo, a young man whose struggles were evident when he worked as a laborer under the MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) during the Covid-19 pandemic, is now on the path to creating history.
Ram Baboo’s Journey to Asian Games Medal:
Despite facing challenging circumstances, Ram Baboo never lost sight of his goals. His determination and hard work recently paid off as he, along with Manju Rani, clinched a medal for India in the 19th Asian Games. The pair secured a bronze medal in the 35 km race walk mixed team event, bringing India’s total medal count to 70. Ram Baboo completed the race in 2 hours, 42 minutes, and 11 seconds, while Manju Rani finished in 3 hours, 9 minutes, and 3 seconds. Their combined time of 5 hours, 51 minutes, and 14 seconds secured the medal for India.
Ram Baboo’s Inspiring Journey:
Ram Baboo’s journey to this medal is particularly significant. He faced numerous challenges but continued to work hard despite adverse circumstances. During the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, pictures and videos of him working as a laborer under MNREGA gained widespread attention on social media.
Ram Baboo and his family struggled to make ends meet during the lockdown, and his father, Chhotalal, worked as a landless laborer to support the family. Ram Baboo himself worked as a laborer, a waiter, and even in a courier packaging company, sewing sacks for approximately four months.
Breaking Records and Pursuing Dreams:
Ram Babu’s talent and determination came to the fore when he broke the national record in the 35-kilometer men’s race walk, completing it in two hours, 36 minutes, and 34 seconds, earning a gold medal at the National Games. Following this achievement, he went to Pune for further training.
Despite his challenging circumstances, Ram Babu remained dedicated to his sport, training extensively without returning home. His passion for athletics and hard work have now resulted in an Asian Games medal for India.
In an interview with the media, Ram Babu mentioned that he began training in September 2018 but had to return to his village due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. His father’s earnings as a laborer covered the expenses of his training and his sister’s education. Due to financial constraints, he didn’t have access to a proper diet, and the conditions in his village required him to walk a kilometer to fetch water.
Ram Babu also shared his experience of working as a waiter in Varanasi, expressing his dissatisfaction with the job. He mentioned that waiters are often treated poorly, and he disliked being referred to by demeaning names.
Ram Babu’s journey began with inspiration from sports films, which motivated him to start running. Initially, he participated in marathons, but a knee injury in 2018 temporarily halted his career. Despite this setback, he persevered and transitioned to race-walking. Today, his hard work is being celebrated across the country.