Rakesh Varda, a 12-year-old boy hailing from Abujhmad region of Chhattisgarh’s red corridor had to leave his home village Orchha along with his father four years ago. Seeing Rakesh’s passion for sports, the Naxalites threatened his father to stop his son from playing and even forced him to move out of village.
However, Rakesh’s father did not give into the stronghold of Maoist fear and gave priority to his son’s passion. He took him to Kutulgarpa village, where the then 8-year-old Rakesh met Manoj Prasad, who worked in the Chhattisgarh Special Task Force and was also the trainer of Mallakhamb.
Prasad gave new wings to dreams of Rakesh and at the age of just 12, he won the title of National Mallakhamb Handstand Competition held in Goregaon, Maharashtra. Rakesh not only won the title of winner while doing handstand for straight 1 minute 6 seconds but he also set a new record for India and the world. Earlier, India’s best record was 30 seconds.
About 1000 players from across the country participated in this competition. Rajesh Korram, another 11-year-old boy hailing from Abujhmad bagged second position in the same competition. Rakesh made it to the India Book of Records for his outstanding performance. In addition, he has also applied for Guinness Book of World Records for this performance, which has been accepted. However, Rakesh is not able to pay the fee of Rs 80 thousand required for the nomination process.
Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel congratulated Rakesh for his outstanding achievement by shaking hands with him and directed Narayanpur district collector to provide financial assistance to him for the nomination for Guinness Book of World Records.
As many as 10 players from Chhattisgarh, including Rakesh Varda, who won the National Mallakhamb Handstand Competition, have been selected for the Khelo India programme to be held in Haryana. The 12-year-old boy has bought laurels to the state and proved that boys hailing from remote inaccessible villages can also excel in sports.