Mumbai: In a moving tale that will tender your heart, a 14-year-old Sayali ran barefoot and won her maiden gold medal under-17 District Sports Office Inter-School Athletic Championships.
Sayali Mhaishune is a daughter of cobbler in Mumbai has gotten used to running barefoot because her father’s financial condition does not allow him to afford a pair of spikes.
A student of RM Bhatt High School trains at the Naigaon Police, Sayali often participates in state-level and district-level race competitions in Maharashtra.
The scorching afternoon heat also made it difficult for her and also made her dehydrated in the middle of the race, but like a true warrior she continued to cross the finish line.
“Around the halfway mark, I was dehydrated, but somehow kept running. I didn’t expect to win a medal, my aim was simply to finish the race. Spikes would have definitely helped me run faster here,” the standard IX student told Mid Day.
Her father, Mangesh is the only one who earns in their family between Rs 3000-10,000 a month.
“Whatever little I earn goes into my two daughters’ education. My elder daughter Mayuri (17) is doing a diploma in Information Technology, while my wife Savita keeps ill frequently. Sayali though, has made me very proud today,” he said.
While the 14-year-old girl clocked 12:27.8 seconds to win gold, her father was busy mending shoes in his small shop in Dadar.