Himachali of the Year

Rajiv K. Phull                 Cover Story

htwIn our endeavour to honour different personalities of the state and salute their devotion in their respective fields of specialisation, Himachal This Week carried the achievements of those instrumentalists who have performed outstandingly in playing the instruments of their choice. This week finds mention of those Himachalis who have emerged as claimant of Himachali of the Year 2014 Himachal Excellence Award. They not only brought laurels to the state and country but also registered their presence emphatically in the field of sports. Interestingly, all of them have specialized in the sport of Kabaddi and are performing exceedingly well in the national and international levels of competitions. This year Himachali of the Year Award is shared by three Kabaddi players, namely Ajay Thakur, Pooja Thakur and Kavita Thakur, who won gold medals for the country in Asian Games 2014, held in Incheon, Korea.  Their consistence performances in various competitions have made them household names not only in Himachal but across the country.

Ajay Thakur, Nalagarh

Citation: Hailing from Dabhota village near Nalagarh, Ajay Thakur is a kabaddi player par excellence, who has proved his mettle in playing aggressive kabaddi. Ajay Thakur played pivotal role as Indian kabaddi team clinched gold medal at Asian Games 2014 held at Incheon in Korea besides performing outstandingly in Pro kabaddi League held last year.

For his remarkable contribution in the field of sports, Himachal This Week confers on him Himachali of the Year Award 2014.

Ajay ThakurHailing from a small village Dabhota located in the industrial cluster of Nalagarh, Ajay Thakur, the star raider of Pro Kabaddi’s Bengaluru Bulls squad, Ajay Thakur is a kabaddi player par excellence. Born on May 1, 1986 in Dabhota village near Nalagarh, Ajay Thakur has over 14 years of experience of playing aggressive kabaddi. He was a key player of the Indian Kabaddi team that won gold medal at the Incheon Asian Games held in 2014. His team Bengaluru Bulls  finished 4th and he himself finished 4th at the raider’s leader board with 122 raid points thus establishing himself as a player who finds a crucial place in the national team. He was among the highest selling player who was bought for Rs 10 lakh by this team. This 28-year old youngster also earned international recognition for himself at the Indoor Asian Games held in 2007 and later in 2013 by winning a gold and also excelled in the junior national team. In his 14 year career, Thakur has won gold medal in the 2011 National Games. Thakur belongs to a village, which has been called the nursery of kabaddi as it has produced several kabaddi players who have won laurels for this small village. His father, who is an ex-policeman from the state Police Department, was also a state level kabaddi player and Ajay learnt the first lesson of adopting sports as a profession from his home. He dreams of setting up a kabaddi academy for the local youth and is already providing them assistance to take up sports as a profession. Employed with the Indian Airlines, he had announced to leave the job after the Incheon Games and hopes the state government will give him a job.

Pooja Thakur, Bilaspur

Citation: Hailing from a sleepy village Seola in Jukhala, district Bilaspur, Pooja Thakur is an established kabaddi player of Himachal, who has proved her mettle in different national and international Kabaddi championships. Pooja Thakur being a member of Indian kabaddi team clinched gold medal at Asian Games 2014 held in Incheon in Korea.

For her remarkable contribution in the field of sports, Himachal This Week confers on her Himachali of the Year Award 2014.

Pooja ThakurBorn on February 24, 1990 in Seoli village near Jukhala in Bilaspur, Pooja Thakur has brought laurels to the state many times by winning several awards in different kabaddi championships. She was a key player of the Indian Kabaddi team that won gold medal at the Incheon Asian Games held in 2014. Presently working as an Excise and Taxation Inspector in Solan, Pooja completed her schooling from Government School in Jukhala and then got admission in SAI Hostel, Dharamshala in 2004. There she started her training in kabaddi and completed her graduation from Government Degree College Dharamshala. Since 2004, Pooja has been performing outstandingly in kabaddi competitions of national and international level. The Parshu Ram Award winner, Pooja Thakur has won gold medals in four international championships including 3rd Asian Championship in 2008, 2nd Junior Asian Championship (Captain) in 2009, 11th South Asian Games in 2010 and recently held Asian Games in Incheon. Pooja is also a recipient of many awards for her fantastic kabaddi skills, including Parshu Ram Award in 2012 and Shan-e-Himachal Award in 2014 and ‘Himachali Sportsperson of the Year Award’ by Divya Himachal in 2010. Living in a joint family, Pooja gives credit of her success to her family members. Her father works in IPH department and mother is a housewife. She hopes that state government will provide better infrastructure to the players of the state.

Kavita Thakur, Manali

Citation: Hailing from a sleepy village Jagatsukh near Manali, 20 year old Kavita Thakur has been performing consistently well and winning medals in different competitions while training at Sports Hostel in Dharamshala. However, her glittering performance was winning a gold medal as a member of Indian Kabaddi team at Asian Games 2014 held at Incheon in Korea.

For her remarkable contribution in the field of sports, Himachal This Week confers on her Himachali of the Year Award 2014.

Kavita ThakurHailing from a sleepy village Jagatsukh nearly Manali, Kavita Thakur comes from a humble family background. Her father Prithvi Singh Thakur is a shopkeeper whereas mother Krishna Devi Singh is a housewife. Having a passion for Kabaddi sport from her childhood, 20 year old Kavita Thakur has not only made a mark at the national level but also in international competitions. A hardworking Kavita Thakur has won many national and international medals for the state and country in different kabaddi competitions. Most glittering performance of her career in Kabaddi is the gold medal she won as a member of Indian Women kabaddi team during Asian Games 2014 held at Incheon in Korea. Earlier she had won gold medal in Indoor Games held in Korea in 2013, gold medal in senior national in 2014, bronze medal in senior national in 2013, bronze medal in senior national in 2011 and silver medal in school national games in 2010 besides numerous other medals in different kabaddi championships. After completing her middle schooling at Jagatsukh, Kavita Thakur residing in Sports Hostel, Dharamshala and is currently pursuing her graduation. Kavita has seen mnay ups and downs in her career in kabaddi but she always emerged stronger than before only due to her hard work.

HTW

-By Sandeep Sharma/ Kullu

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