By Ashok Kumar Shaw
For Ravit Kumar, the Telugu Titans all-rounder in the Pro Kabaddi League, life has been one from oblivion to fame thanks to this tournament. From being dismissed as “good for nothing” person for playing this sport in his village to getting mobbed by fans for autographs and pictures now, Ravit has turned things around for good and changed the way kabaddi players are looked upon in his village.
“We have a lot of fan following now. Wherever we go…airports, village or in our jobs… people ask for autographs and photos. It feels very good. It’s a good feeling altogether,” says a proud Ravit.
But it was not the case when he started playing kabaddi. There was not much craze or support of kabaddi in his village at Haridwar district in Uttarakhand and he has to go to another village 15 kms away for training. “Now every family, the entire village and the whole district support us. They feel very happy to see us play kabaddi.”
Ravit credit Pro Kabaddi League for making this change happen. “Pro Kabaddi is wholly responsible for bringing kabaddi to this level. Until Pro Kabaddi league has not started, nobody knew much about this sport. We were just like normal sportspersons, playing tournaments in villages …nobody used to ask about us. But now whenever Pro Kabaddi happens, there is definite buzz around it,” says Ravit.
Ravit also has few words of advise for fellow kabaddi players who want to rise in the ranks. “He should work hard, concentrate on his diet. He should work hard for nationals, because that is where coaches, managers come to select players,” says Ravit.
And nobody knows it better than Ravit. He remembers, “There was a sport vacancy in Uttarkhand police in 2006. I attended the trials and got selected. I have been playing in senior nationals since then. During one of the events, Telugu Titans coach and manager saw me play and invited me for the trials in Hyderabad and then I got selected.”
And the rest is history.