A day before Eid-al-Adha, President Ram Nath Kovind presented a racing bicycle to a young cycling enthusiast striving to keep his passion alive despite crippling poverty.
Riyaz, a struggling school boy who dreams of excelling as a cyclist, was chosen to receive the gift after it was brought to the President’s notice that he was finding it difficult to pursue his passion despite winning a medal in the 2017 Delhi State Cycling Championship.
After gifting Riyaz a racing bicycle, Ram Nath Kovind urged the boy to work hard to realise his dream and become an international champion. The meeting between the President and Riyaz took place on Thursday (July 31) at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
A statement from the Rashtrapati Bhavan said, “The bicycle delivered to Riyaz on Friday, a day before Eid-al-Adha, comes as Eidi in true spirit of the festival that is marked by gifts given by elders to youngsters,” according to Livemint.
Riyaz’s story is quite educative for struggling youth who come from the underprivileged class of society and yet dare dream big in their life, the statement added.
Part-time work, full-time cycling passion
Riyaz, who is from Bihar’s Madhubani district, is a student of Class 9 at Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya at Anand Vihar, Delhi. His parents, two sisters, and a brother live in Madhubani while Riyaz stays at a rented accommodation in Maharajpur, Ghaziabad.
He works at an eatery in Ghaziabad as a dishwasher when he is free, to help add to his father’s paltry income as a cook.
Riyaz won the bronze medal at the Delhi State Cycling Championship in 2017. He went on to participate in a school games event in Guwahati, according to the District Magistrate, Ghaziabad. He also achieved the fourth rank at the National Level Cycling Tournament.
Enthused by his achievements so far, the boy had raised the bar and started taking professional training from a coach named Pramod Sharma. He trains regularly at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Delhi.
Unfortunately, he had to depend on a borrowed sports cycle for his practice, and Riyaz had been seeking a racing cycle of his own for a while, which was granted on the occasion of the Eid.
President Kovind came to know about Riyaz’s story of struggle through media reports.
The President congratulated Riyaz for his achievements “defying all odds” and wished him the “very best in life”.
He also said Riyaz’s story should serve as “worthy emulation for the country’s youth”, who must come forward for nation-building by “dint of their dedication, hard work, courage, and honesty”.
(With inputs from agencies)