Mohd Akram / Hyderabad
“The situation at home is not good; Abba (father) is a truck driver. Somehow we have managed to survive. Now, I am worried about my sports career. How will I support myself?” Mohammad Mehboob Khan, who is selected for representing India in the Mixed Martial Arts Championship to be held in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, from January 24 to 29.
Mohammad Mehboob Khan is a resident of Madhapet in the Saidabad area of Hyderabad.
He has won a gold medal at the international level in 2018 and he has been preparing for the upcoming event in Abu Dhabi.
Though Mehboob Khan is training hard for the Dubai competition, the worries about his family’s poor financial condition is weighing in his mind and also come in the way of his preparedness.
Mohammad Mehboob Khan was the first player from India to win a gold medal in the International Championship in 2018. He won the medal by defeating the Australian player in the World Championship of Mix Martial Arts held in Bahrain in 2019.
Mehboob Khan has so far won the National Championship seven times.
Mehboob is the eldest of his four siblings. His sister is married. His father Amjad Khan is a truck driver. He says his financial constraints may have come in the way of his preparations, but his spirit is not dampened by problems.
Mehboob Khan said he started playing mixed martial arts some six years ago. In the beginning, only, he had dreamed of winning a medal for India. Unfortunately, his circumstances have brought him to a situation where he has to also worry about arranging money for his preparations.
He says after winning the gold in the 2018 World Championship by defeating the Australia player in 2019, he had hoped the government would help him financially. He was disappointed at this not happening. However, he didn’t stop playing.
Mehboob said he needs a sum of about 2 lakh for preparing his bout for the Dubai tournament. He says the family’s basic needs are barely able to be met by his father’s meager salary that he can’t expect him to pay for his sports preparation. His family is also worried about him on this.
He is seeking help from the government. He needs money for his boarding and lodging in Abu Dhabi so that he doesn’t have worries and can focus on his sport.
Sheikh Khalid, coach of Mohammad Mehboob Khan and founder of Telangana Association of Mix Martial Arts, said that Mohammad Mehboob Khan’s selection for the Abu Dhabi event is a matter of pride for India yet Mehboob’s current financial condition is coming in the way of his morale and preparation.
And yet the association is busy arranging money for him. They are even seeking donations from the public for promising sportsperson. They have shared Mehboob’s bank account number on social media to raise funds through crowdfunding.
Source: Awaz The Voice