02 August, 2022 – Nabha : Harjinder Kaur, the daughter of a landless farmer from Mehas village here in Patiala district, braved poverty to make it to the podium at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Kaur has been successful in winning a bronze medal in the 71 kg category of women’s weightlifting.
Living in a one-room house, Kaur gained her muscle strength by cutting fodder on the manual chaff-cutting machine. She used to cut straw on ‘toka’ to feed the buffaloes at her house.
It was the game of Kabaddi for which Kaur joined a camp at the Punjabi University in 2016. The turning point in her sports journey came when Punjabi University’s weightlifting coach Paramjeet Sharma asked her to adopt weightlifting sport.
Kaur faced financial problems initially and her family had to take a loan of around Rs 1 lakh to ensure that she continued weightlifting.
Kaur won her first medal at the All India Inter-University Championship. Thereafter, she never looked back and won successive medals at various national championships.
Her brother Pritpal Singh said she was a hard worker, and her medal at the Commonwealth Games was a result of her years of hard work.
“She had to cut fodder at chaff-cutting machine that developed her arm strength. She never said no to it as she used to take care of the buffaloes alone,” the brother said.
Talking about the financial constraints, Pritpal said, “Initially, we faced financial problems. Things started to improve once she started winning medals and I got a government job.”
With teary eyes, Kaur’s father Sahib Singh said, “The girl has made everyone proud including me. I can’t express my feeling in words.”
He added that Kaur had done everything on her own. However, he said “It will be of great help if the government provides her with a job and some financial aid.”