By Chandan Kar, Batch of 2016
Everyone has a story to tell but, some stories are inspirational. Asmit Kumar is one of them. Hailing from Gorakhpur, he has followed his dreams. Being in one of the country’s premier colleges hasn’t deterred him from pursuing his passions. He is an untold story, a true wanderer in the jungles of NSIT. A three time National bronze medallist and having been invited to the international stage, he is well known in the weightlifting circle. The Alliance brings you this amazing story, the first of many. Here are excerpts from his interview.
Q1. So, Asmit Sir, Cricket, Tennis, Football etc. are some of the “popular” sports in India. How did your journey with weightlifting start?
Well, it all started with my brother. He was a year senior and in fact, passed out from this very college. He was a weightlifter and then got a job at SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited).
It all started with the Winter Sports in my first year. Just a month before the championship, I joined a local gym and after some basic training, I bagged the silver medal at the Winter Sports.
I followed this up with training at a well-known gym nearby, which was headed by Shri Mukesh Gehlot. He saw me perform and said -’You are medal material.’ I quote him “Agar tera medal nahi aata hai , toh main gym band karwa dunga”’. That one sentence instilled even more confidence in me. I started taking part in University level competitions against competitive and fierce sportsmen.
Finally I got a break and went on to represent the State at the Nationals in my second year, and followed it up with another win.
Q2. (Seeing his bulky biceps) Did you always have muscles like these or is it because of weightlifting training?
See, it’s never about the body. You see so many beefed up muscular people but they aren’t all weightlifters. It’s about the technique, followed by power lifting. If you have the right technique, you can lift anything. Obviously, self-belief is very important.
Q3. Even after all your weightlifting endeavours, you have fared decently in academics. Shed some light, please?
As we all know, there is a lot of spare time. Time should be managed well. Also, one needs to be serious. I knew what I was getting into. I knew there would be a lot of pressure and I thought I could handle it. A lot of these competitions and tournaments happen around our college end semester exams. There have been difficult times when I have had to compete in a tournament, just a week before the semester exams. I had to struggle hard in those last 2-3 days before the exams even when my body was completely drained out, demanding respite.
But the seriousness to handle everything gets the better of me and I push myself physically to the limits.
Q4. Has the college not been able to give any kind of support that could have helped you better?
It’s tricky to say the least. I am grateful that I have a platform like NSIT to make my dreams come true. But, a little bit of additional support would have helped. I couldn’t take part in professional training camps before international competitions as they usually last for two months, and in a college like NSIT, attendance is a nuisance. I do wish that something is done about this.
It is unfortunate to see the college sponsoring students’ initiatives like fests, workshops or HNMUN, but not provide financial aid to a budding sportsman. This is not just an issue with the college, but even our government, which hardly celebrates the winning of laurels by our country’s sportsmen.
Q5. How has your family coped with everything? Is it very difficult these days to garner support for one’s passions?
Luckily, my brother had already paved some way for me by the time I started competitive weightlifting. My parents have been really proud of my achievements. Every parent wants their child to be successful and mine are no different. As I mentioned, my decent performance in academics, time-management, hard work has brought faith in them.
Q6. What is your advice for the people in NSIT who want to follow their passion?
I think one needs to be smart. Some passions will just remain passions if the person is bad at time management. This is NSIT- a place with an abundance of spare time. Utilize it well and one will succeed.
Q7. How does an athlete get selected for international competitions like Olymics and Commonwealth ?
After the nationals, the top three are spotted by the National coaches. The shortlisted athletes from all over the country undergo two months of training for International trials. I was also selected for this training and, received an offer letter from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Delhi State, after bagging the bronze at Nationals. But as I mentioned the college wouldn’t grant me a leave for two months. As there is no age limit on participation, I will pursue this after my graduation.