Such a Long Walk: From Living in Cowshed to Winning Medal For India, Khushbir Kaur is Our Hero


Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said so well; “No matter where you are from, no matter what your background is, no matter what your socioeconomic status is, every person can achieve his or her dreams.” what she said could be applied to pretty much all situations in life.

This is the story of a 25-year-old Khushbir Kaur, who won the silver medal in the Women’s 20 km Race Walk at the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea.

Her story is not just an inspiration to many but also the real stuff that makes a plot for a blockbuster movie

Khushbir Kaur from Rasulpur Kalan village of Amritsar district in Punjab, she lost her father when at the age of six. She was raised by her mother who is herself a gutsy woman, because of her mother she has been able to achieve such immense success. Her mother Jashbir kaur, single handly raised her five children and deserves all praise and respect what she is getting today.

After the irreparable loss of the sole breadwinner, Jashbir Kaur took it upon herself and ensured that she could provide the best for her five children. Jashbir Kaur would take on odd jobs like sewing clothes for neighbors and sell milk to keep to run her family.

In an interview with the Time of India Jashbir Kaur said: “During the rainy season, my daughters, son, the cows and I, all lived in a single room, stashed together.”

Her family endured many troubles; and sometimes with no money to buy food for days together, her family often spent their nights in the cow-shed.

And things changed positively when her daughter Khushbir Kaur started winning competitions and brought home the silver medal in the year 2014. Highlighting the plight of girl children across India, Jasbir Kaur cites the perfect examples of her daughters and urges people to put a stop to female infanticide.

Would you believe that in the year 2008 at Junior National Games, Khushbir Kaur finished her race barefoot, not by choice but because she could not afford to buy walking shoes?

According to a report in Scroll which says that Khushbir Kaur is already gearing up to represent India in future 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Khushbir Kaur says that: “The Present government is giving a lot of importance to sports, which is very good and we are seeing a marked improvement.” She also said: “But the one thing I realized from the Olympics is that we must start preparing for these kinds of events four to five years in advance.”

Watch video here:

“One-year preparation in advance will not help… There has to be a step-to-step approach towards winning medals…”

She also being conferred with prestigious the Arjuna Award by the Mr. President Ramnath Kovind, last year. This very talented athlete and the real-life champion has miles to go before she rests.