October 11, 2016 12:00:28 am
A passionate swimmer and athlete, city-based student Parth Kharate,15, has been participating in swimming and biathlon competitions for the past four years. So when he got a chance to represent the country at the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) 2016 Biathle/Triathle world championship, to be held in the US, his happiness knew no bounds.
However, there was one major problem. The trip required Rs 2.5 lakh and given the meagre income of his parents — his father is an accountant and mother is a tele-caller — going for the championship seemed like an improbable dream for Kharate.
With their limited earnings, the Kharates could arrange only Rs 75,000 for their only child. That’s when Akshay Kokane, Parth’s teacher at the Epiphany School in Guruwar Peth and a Teach For India fellow, decided to launch a crowd-funding campaign in the first week of August. Thanks to his efforts, as on date, the family has the amount required to participate in the championship, that will be held on October 19 and 20 at Sarasota. “Now that the money has been arranged, Parth will be leaving from Pune on October 17,” said Kokane. The championship requires the participant to finish 1,200-metre run, followed by 200-metre swimming and another 1,200-metre run. The participant who completes in the shortest time emerges winner of the championship, added Parth.
A bright young student of Standard 10, when Parth initially enrolled for biathlons, he faced severe resistance from his family. The turning point in this equation arrived when Parth bagged fourth position in the seventh National Modern Pentathlon Championship in Karnal, Haryana, in July this year. Post this victory, his family has thoroughly supported him, shared Kokane, a computer science graduate who had worked with Infosys for nearly four years before applying for Teach For India fellowship last year.
He teaches History, Geography, Physical Education and Personality Development at Epiphany School. “I am very thankful to Akshay sir for making my dream come true. I will make sure that his efforts don’t go to waste,” said Parth, adding that he aims to make a career in athletics. He lives with his parents and grandmother in Ganj Peth.
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