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Journey from living in a cowshed to silver medalist
The days when Khushbir Kaurs family lived in a cowshed and sleep on a creaky charpoy are still remembered by her even after winning a silver at the 2014 Asian Games Due to poverty, the family would regularly skip meals, sometimes even twice a day When it rained they would let the cows inside the house
RASULPUR KALAN(AMRITSAR): The days when Khushbir Kaur’s family lived in a cowshed and sleep on a creaky charpoy are still remembered by her even after winning a silver at the 2014 Asian Games. Due to poverty, the family would regularly skip meals, sometimes even twice a day. When it rained they would let the cows inside the house.
The 25 year old Khushbir is now a DSP with Punjab Police. She lost her father at the age of six. Her mother raised four daughters and a son by sewing clothes and selling milk in nearby villages.
Jasbir Kaur, Khushbir’s mother, said, “During the rainy season,my daughters, son, the cows and I lived in a single room, stashed together. Hun kisay nu vee pind vicho pucho ki DSP khushbir day ghar jana hai tae saray tuhanu das daen gay(Now ask anyone in the village that you have to go to DSP Khushbir’s house, all of them will tell you where to go).”
“It was only after Khushbir started winning medals and awards that we could afford a good meal. And after she won silver in the 20km race walk event at the 2014 Asian games, we got a cemented roof over our heads,” she added.
Her daughters, Khushbir Kaur, Harjit Kaur and Karamjit Kaur are all in sports. Her fourth daughter Dharamjit Kaur is a sports enthusiast. Her son Bikramjit Singh wants to join the Indian Army. “My husband was an employee with the state electricity department. But after his death, my in-laws family left me to survive with five young children-all on my own.
But I didn’t lose heart, I dedicated my life to raise my children and encouraged my daughters to study as well as be involved in sports. We had a couple of cows. I used to sell milk and then stitch clothes but the income was not enough. The teachers at the school where Khushbir and her sisters studied would often help them with studies as well as school fees,” she added.
She still has a couple of cows but the house they are living in changed into a pucca house. “My daughters are my pride. My message to anyone who indulges in female infanticide is :Remember, the girls saved the nation’s pride in the last Olympics,” she advised.
“I couldn’t invite my friends to our home because it was just a single room and then we had cow dungs stored in that. It was awkward,” said Bikramjit about the hard times.